Heparin modulation of the fibrinolytic activity of plasmin, miniplasmin and neutrophil leukocyte elastase in the presence of plasma protease inhibitors

K. Kolev, E. Komorowicz, R. Machovich

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of heparin on the inactivation rates of fibrin-bound plasmin, miniplasmin and neutrophil leukocyte elastase (PMN-elastase) by their plasma inhibitors was studied. While plasmin and miniplasmin bound to fibrin are not inactivated by antithrombin, heparin (800 nM) makes these enzymes available for the inhibitor; the second-order rate constant increases from zero to 1.3 x 103 M-1 s-1 and 3.3 x 103 M-1 s-1, respectively. Heparin slightly increases the rate of fibrin-bound enzyme inactivation by plasmin inhibitor. α1-Protease inhibitor, on the other hand, is unable to inactivate plasmin or miniplasmin bound to fibrin and heparin has no facilitating effect. In the case of PMN-elastase, heparin (300 nM) further increases enzyme protection against α1-protease inhibitor; the rate constant decreases from 41 x 103 M-1 s-1 to 23 x 103 M-1 s-1. α2-Macroglobulin inhibits fibrin-bound miniplasmin and PMN-elastase with a second-order rate constant of 1.8 x 104 M-1 s-1 and heparin (300 nM) increases the rate insignificantly for miniplasmin and by a factor of two for PMN-elastase. It is remarkable that plasmin bound to fibrin is not inhibited by α2-macroglobulin independently of the presence of heparin. On the basis of the reported kinetic data a lifespan of 420 s for plasmin, 66 s for miniplasmin and 4 s for PMN-elastase was calculated, when the enzymes are bound to fibrin in the presence of the four protease inhibitors at physiological plasma concentration. If heparin is present (300 nM) these values decrease to 240 s for plasmin and 42 s for miniplasmin, whereas that of PMN-elastase is unchanged. Thus, the present in vitro kinetic model suggests an antifibrinolytic effect of heparin in a plasma milieu.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-911
Number of pages7
JournalBlood Coagulation and Fibrinolysis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1994



  • Antithrombin
  • Fibrinolysis
  • Heparin
  • Neutrophil elastase
  • Plasmin inhibitor
  • Plasmin miniplasmin
  • α-macroglobulin
  • α-protease inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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