von Willebrand Factor for Aortic Valve Intervention
From Bench to Real-Time Bedside Assessment
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- aortic stenosis
- paravalvular regurgitation
- point-of-care testing
- transcatheter aortic valve replacement
- von Willebrand factor
VWF (von Willebrand factor) is a circulating multimeric blood glycoprotein. VWF plays a major role in primary hemostasis by promoting the adhesion of platelets to subendothelial collagen at sites of vascular damage and thereby promoting platelet aggregation. VWF is synthesized in endothelial cells and megakaryocytes. The VWF units dimerize and are transported into the Golgi apparatus, where disulfide bonds are formed leading to formation of VWF multimers. This large subunit combination is required to support its hemostatic function.
VWF has the unique features to be circulating in an inactive coiled form, hiding binding domains for platelet receptors and subendothelial collagen. At the site of vascular injury, VWF binds to the exposed collagen and unfolds. Once VWF is unfolded, the VWF A1 domain is exposed allowing the binding of platelets via GP Ib (glycoprotein IB) receptor. After platelet activation, GP IIb/IIIa (glycoprotein IIb/IIIa) receptor becomes able to bind VWF C1 domain. The VWF conformation and activity is intimately related to shear conditions and blood flow. At high shear rate (beyond 10–15 pN), it becomes unfolded exposing binding sites but also the cleavage site in VWF A2 domain for ADAMTS13 (adisintegrin-like and metalloprotease thrombospondin) protease that conducts to its proteolysis. Overall, these environmental changes generate the modification of the conformation of VWF …