Rapid kinetics demonstrate a three-step pathway of streptokinase (SK) binding to plasminogen (Pg), the zymogen of plasmin (Pm). Formation of a fluorescently silent encounter complex is followed by two conformational tightening steps reported by fluorescence quenches. Forward reactions were defined by time courses of biphasic quenching during complex formation between SK or its COOH-terminal Lys(414) deletion mutant (SKΔK414) and active site-labeled [Lys]Pg ([5-(acetamido)fluorescein]-D-Phe-Phe-Arg-[Lys]Pg ([5F]FFR-[Lys]Pg)) and by the SK dependences of the quench rates. Active site-blocked Pm rapidly displaced [5F]FFR-[Lys]Pg from the complex. The encounter and final SK ·[5F]FFR-[Lys]Pg complexes were weakened similarly by SK Lys(414) deletion and blocking of lysine-binding sites (LBSs) on Pg kringles with 6-aminohexanoic acid or benzamidine. Forward and reverse rates for both tightening steps were unaffected by 6-aminohexanoic acid, whereas benzamidine released constraints on the first conformational tightening. This indicated that binding of SK Lys(414) to Pg kringle 4 plays a role in recognition of Pg by SK. The substantially lower affinity of the final SK · Pg complex compared with SK · Pm is characterized by a ∼ 25-fold weaker encounter complex and ∼ 40-fold faster off-rates for the second conformational step. The results suggest that effective Pg encounter requires SK Lys(414) engagement and significant non-LBS interactions with the protease domain, whereas Pm binding additionally requires contributions of other lysines. This difference may be responsible for the lower affinity of the SK · Pg complex and the expression of a weaker "pro"-exosite for binding of a second Pg in the substrate mode compared with SK · Pm.
© 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.