Indexed on: 30 May '09Published on: 30 May '09Published in: FEBS Journal
Plactin, a family of cyclopentapeptides, enhances fibrinolytic activity by elevating the activity of cellular urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA), a protease involved in a variety of extracellular proteolytic events. Factor(s) in the blood plasma is an absolute requirement for this plactin activity. In this study, we found that plactin promoted plasma cofactor-dependent conversion of inactive single-chain u-PA to active two-chain u-PA on U937 cells. Using plactin-affinity chromatography, we identified prothrombin as one of the plasma cofactors. In incubations of U937 cells with prothrombin and Xa, plactin increased the formation of thrombin, which cleaved single-chain u-PA to afford the inactive two-chain form. Thrombin-cleaved two-chain u-PA was alternatively activated by cellular cystatin-sensitive peptidase activity, yielding fully active two-chain u-PA. In a purified system, plactin bound to prothrombin, altered its conformation and dually modulated factor Xa-mediated proteolytic activation of prothrombin to alpha-thrombin. Plactin inhibited the activation catalyzed by Xa in complex with Va, Ca(2+) and phospholipids (prothrombinase), whereas the activations catalyzed by nonmembrane-associated Xa were enhanced markedly by plactin. Plactin inhibited in vitro plasma coagulation, which involved prothrombinase formation. Plactin did not cause prothrombin activation or thrombosis in normal mice at doses that produced a protective effect in a thrombin-induced pulmonary embolism mouse model. Therefore, the dual modulation of prothrombin activation by plactin may be interpreted as leading to anticoagulation under physiological coagulating conditions.