Rapid and efficient incorporation of tissue factor into liposomes
Tissue factor (TF), the physiological trigger of the blood clotting cascade, is also the active ingredient in thromboplastin preparations which are widely used in clotting assays such as the prothrombin time (PT) test. A type I integral membrane protein, TF must be incorporated into suitable phospholipid membranes for full procoagulant activity. Several methods exist for incorporating TF into phospholipid vesicles, typically employing the formation of mixed micelles containing detergent, phospholipid and TF, followed by detergent removal or dilution below the critical micelle concentration (CMC). These methods have certain drawbacks: they may take several days to complete, employ expensive detergents, are difficult to scale up, and do not always result in complete detergent removal. In this study we have investigated the use of a variety of detergents [Triton X-100, octaethylene glycol monododecyl ether (C12E8), cholate, deoxycholate, and n-octyl-β-D-glucopyranoside], and the use of adsorbent beads (Bio-Beads SM-2) for removing detergent, in processes to incorporate TF into proteoliposomes with high specific activity in coagulation assays. The method we have developed is rapid and readily scalable, yielding thromboplastin preparations with specific activities in plasma clotting assays that are at least as high as those made with detergent dialysis.