Ambivalent roles of carboxypeptidase B in the lytic susceptibility of fibrin
Background: Removal of C-terminal lysine residues that are continuously exposed in lysing fibrin is an established anti-fibrinolytic mechanism dependent on the plasma carboxypeptidase TAFIa, which also removes arginines that are exposed at the time of fibrinogen clotting by thrombin.
Objective: To evaluate the impact of alterations in fibrin structure mediated by constitutive carboxypeptidase activity on the function of fibrin as a template for tissue plasminogen activator-(tPA) induced plasminogen activation and its susceptibility to digestion by plasmin.
Methods and results: We used the stable carboxypeptidase B (CPB), which shows the same substrate specificity as TAFIa. If 1.5 – 6 μM fibrinogen was clotted in the presence of 8 U/mL CPB, a denser fibrin network was formed with thinner fibers (the median fiber diameter decreased from 138 – 144 nm to 89 – 109 nm as established with scanning electron microscopy). If clotting was initiated in the presence of 5 – 10 μM arginine, a similar decrease in fiber diameter (82 -95 nm) was measured. The fine structure of arginine-treated fibrin enhanced plasminogen activation by tPA, but slowed down lysis monitored using fluorescent tPA and confocal laser microscopy. However, if lysis was initiated with plasmin in CPB-treated fibrin, the rate of dissolution increased to a degree corresponding to doubling of the plasmin concentration.
Conclusion: The present data evidence that CPB activity generates fine-mesh fibrin which is more difficult to lyse by tPA, but conversely, CPB and plasmin together can stimulate fibrinolysis, possibly by enhancing plasmin diffusion.
Publication titleThrombosis Research
Department/SchoolAustralian Maritime College
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Rights statementCopyright 2013 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/