Author(s): Hajjar KA, Gavish D, Breslow JL, Nachman RL
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Abstract Endothelial cells play a critical role in thromboregulation by virtue of a surface-connected fibrinolytic system. Cultured endothelial cells synthesize and secrete tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) which can bind to at least two discrete sites on the cell surface. These binding sites preserve the catalytic activity of t-PA and protect it from its physiological inhibitor (PAI-1). N-terminal glutamic acid plasminogen (Glu-PLG), the main circulating fibrinolytic zymogen, also interacts specifically with the endothelial cell surface. Binding is associated with a 12-fold increase in catalytic efficiency of plasmin generation by t-PA which may reflect conversion of Glu-PLG to its plasmin-modified form, N-terminal lysine plasminogen (Lys-PLG). Lipoprotein(a) is an atherogenic lipoprotein particle which contains the plasminogen-like apolipoprotein(a) bound to low density lipoprotein. We report here that lipoprotein(a) interferes with endothelial cell fibrinolysis by inhibiting plasminogen binding and hence plasmin generation. In addition, we demonstrate lipoprotein(a) accumulation in atherosclerotic lesions. These findings may provide a link between impaired cell surface fibrinolysis and progressive atherosclerosis.
This article was published in Nature
and referenced in Journal of Hypertension: Open Access