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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The intrinsic threshold of the fibrinolytic system is modulated by basic carboxypeptidases, but the magnitude of the antifibrinolytic effect of activated thrombin-activable fibrinolysis inhibitor is masked by its instability.

Activated thrombin-activable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFIa) is intrinsically unstable, a property that complicates the study of its role in regulating fibrinolysis. To investigate the effect of basic carboxypeptidases on fibrinolysis under conditions of constant carboxypeptidase activity, we employed pancreatic carboxypeptidase B (CPB), a homologous, stable basic carboxypeptidase, as a surrogate for TAFIa. Clots formed from TAFI-depleted plasma or from purified components were supplemented with tissue-type plasminogen activator and either CPB or TAFIa. The clot lysis data indicate that the down-regulation of fibrinolysis mediated by basic carboxypeptidases involves a threshold mechanism. At carboxypeptidase concentrations above the threshold, plasminogen activation is maintained in a fully down-regulated state; experiments in plasma showed that fibrinolysis is essentially halted by saturating concentrations of TAFIa and that fibrinolysis can be prolonged more than 45-fold by a stable carboxypeptidase. The threshold carboxypeptidase concentration was dependent on tissue-type plasminogen activator and antiplasmin concentrations, indicating that the threshold is determined by the steady-state plasmin concentration. Although obvious with CPB, the threshold was masked by the intrinsic instability of TAFIa and became apparent only when the effect of TAFIa was investigated over the picomolar concentration range. Because of the threshold effect and the instability of TAFIa, exponential increases in TAFIa concentration generate linear increases in lysis time. A model relating lysis time to TAFIa concentration, TAFIa half-life, and the threshold concentration of TAFIa is provided. The threshold effect has potentially important implications regarding the role of TAFIa and the regulation of clot lysis in vivo.[1]


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