Human tissue-type plasminogen activator releases fibrinopeptides A and B from fibrinogen. Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • In five patients with venous thromboembolic disease treated with recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA), there was a marked increase in the mean concentrations of fibrinopeptide A (from 0.6 to 5.9 nM; P less than 0.0001) and desarginine fibrinopeptide B (from 5.6 nM to 24.1 nM; P less than 0.01) 30 min after a bolus of rt-PA (0.6 mg/kg). Thrombin was unlikely to be responsible because the levels of desarginine fibrinopeptide B exceeded those of fibrinopeptide A and the changes occurred despite concomitant heparin therapy. The purpose of this study therefore, was to determine whether rt-PA directly releases the fibrinopeptides from fibrinogen. Incubation of rt-PA with heparinized plasma or purified fibrinogen resulted in time and dose-dependent release of both fibrinopeptide A and B. Contaminating thrombin was not responsible for this activity by the following criteria: the rate of rt-PA mediated fibrinopeptide B release was considerably faster than that of fibrinopeptide A, and fibrinopeptide release was unaffected by heparin, hirudin, or a monospecific antithrombin IgG. Aprotinin also had no effect on fibrinopeptide release, indicating that this activity was not plasmin mediated. Fibrinopeptide release was shown to be due to rt-PA because this activity was completely blocked by a monoclonal antibody against the enzyme. Further, the specificity of rt-PA for the thrombin cleavage sites on fibrinogen was confirmed by the demonstration that rt-PA released fibrinopeptide A or fibrinopeptide B from fibrinopeptide A or B-containing substrates, respectively. These studies thus demonstrate that (a) rt-PA releases fibrinopeptides A and B from fibrinogen thereby indicating that this enzyme is not specific for plasminogen, and (b) plasma fibrinopeptide A and desarginine fibrinopeptide B levels are not specific markers of thrombin action on fibrinogen in patients receiving rt-PA.

publication date

  • November 1, 1988