Background: Thrombomodulin-associated coagulopathy (TM-AC) is a rare bleeding disorder in which a single reported p.Cys537* variant in the thrombomodulin gene THBD causes high plasma thrombomodulin (TM) levels. High TM levels attenuate thrombin generation and delay fibrinolysis. Objectives: To report the characteristics of pedigree with a novel THBD variant causing TM-AC, and co-inherited deficiency of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI). Patients/methods: Identification of pathogenic variants in hemostasis genes by next-generation sequencing and case recall for deep phenotyping. Results: Pedigree members with a previously reported THBD variant predicting p.Pro496Argfs*10 and chain truncation in TM transmembrane domain had abnormal bleeding and greatly increased plasma TM levels. Affected cases had attenuated thrombin generation and delayed fibrinolysis similar to previous reported TM_AC cases with THBD p.Cys537*. Coincidentally, some pedigree members also harbored a stop-gain variant in CPB2 encoding TAFI. This reduced plasma TAFI levels but was asymptomatic. Pedigree members with TM-AC caused by the p.Pro496Argfs*10 THBD variant and also TAFI deficiency had a partially attenuated delay in fibrinolysis, but no change in the defective thrombin generation. Conclusions: These data extend the reported genetic repertoire of TM-AC and establish a common molecular pathogenesis arising from high plasma levels of TM extra-cellular domain. The data further confirm that the delay in fibrinolysis associated with TM-AC is directly linked to increased TAFI activation. The combination of the rare variants in the pedigree members provides a unique genetic model to develop understanding of the thrombin-TM system and its regulation of TAFI.
We thank NIHR BioResource volunteers for their participation, and gratefully acknowledge NIHR BioResource centres, NHS Trusts and staff for their contribution. We thank the National Institute for Health Research and NHS Blood and Transplant. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. S.K.W. was supported during this work by the Medical Research Council (MR/K023489/1) and is now funded through an NIHR-funded Academic Clinical Lectureship. K.D. is supported as a HSST trainee by NHS Health Education England. N.J.M. and C.S.W. are supported by the British Heart Foundation (PG/15/82/31721). J.C.M. is a fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO Vlaanderen; 1137717N). A.D.M. is supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research
Centre at the University Hospitals Bristol National Health Service Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol. We thank Prof Paul Declerck and Prof Ann Gils, University Leuven, Belgium for the kind gift of the MA-T12D11 antibody. We acknowledge technical assistance from Dorien Leenaerts, University of Antwerp, Belgium and Michela Donnarumma, University of Aberdeen, UK.
- TAFI (carboxypeptidase B2 (CPB2)/procarboxypeptidase U (proCPU))
- TAFI (carboxypeptidase B2 [CPB2]/procarboxypeptidase U [proCPU])
- procarboxypeptidase U [proCPU])
- TAFI (carboxypeptidase B2 [CPB2]