Factor XII is a serum glycoprotein that participates in the initiation of blood coagulation, fibrinolysis, and the generation of bradykinin and angiotensin. Prekallikrein is cleaved by factor XII to form kallikrein, which then cleaves factor XII first to alpha-factor XIIa and then trypsin cleaves it to beta-factor XIIa. Alpha-factor XIIa activates factor XI to factor XIa.
Involvement in disease
Defects in F12 are the cause of factor XII deficiency (FA12D) [MIM:234000]; also known as Hageman factor deficiency. This trait is an asymptomatic anomaly of in vitro blood coagulation. Its diagnosis is based on finding a low plasma activity of the factor in coagulating assays. It is usually only accidentally discovered through pre-operative blood tests. F12 deficiency is divided into two categories, a cross-reacting material (CRM)-negative group (negative F12 antigen detection) and a CRM-positive group (positive F12 antigen detection). Defects in F12 are the cause of hereditary angioedema type 3 (HAE3) [MIM:610618]; also known as estrogen-related HAE or hereditary angioneurotic edema with normal C1 inhibitor concentration and function. HAE is characterized by episodic local subcutaneous edema, and submucosal edema involving the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. HAE3 occurs exclusively in women and is precipitated or worsened by high estrogen levels (e.g., during pregnancy or treatment with oral contraceptives). It differs from HAE types 1 and 2 in that both concentration and function of C1 inhibitor are normal.
Factor XII is activated by kallikrein in alpha-factor XIIa, which is then further converted by trypsin into beta-factor XIIa. Alpha-factor XIIa is composed of the NH2-terminal heavy chain (Coagulation factor XIIa heavy chain) and the COOH-terminal light chain (Coagulation factor XIIa light chain), connected by a disulfide bond. Beta-factor XIIa is composed of 2 chains linked by a disulfide bond, a light chain (Beta-factor XIIa part 2), corresponding to the COOH-terminal light chain (Coagulation factor XIIa light chain) and a nonapeptide (Beta-factor XIIa part 1). O- and N-glycosylated. The O-linked polysaccharides were not identified, but are probably the mucin type linked to GalNAc.