Thrombin and haemostasis: Regulation of the biological functions of thrombin (facts and perspectives)

R. Machovich, I. Horvath

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

5 Citations (Scopus)


Thrombin plays an essential role in the maintenance of haemostatic balance through several biochemical reactions. Its functions as well as the regulation of its activities seem to be decisive in controlling thrombus formation. The present paper endeavours to give a brief summary of the control of thrombin activity and the regulation of biological actions of thrombin. As to the control of the amount of the active enzyme, three possible ways are discussed, i.e. prothrombin synthesis, activation of prothrombin, and inactivation of thrombin by plasma proteinase inhibitors (antithrombin III, α-2-macroglobulin, α-1-proteinase inhibitor). Regarding the regulation of the various actions of thrombin, the most important biological targets of this enzyme are summarized, namely interaction with fibrinogen, activation of Factor XIII, Factor IX, Factor VIII, Factor V and prothrombin, and the binding to platelets, fibroblasts and endothelial cells. The limits of our present knowledge about the determination of the possible reaction routes catalyzed by thrombin are also considered. Finally, a tentative hypothesis is put forward to explain how the endogenous modulators such as heparin determine the biological functions of thrombin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-359
Number of pages21
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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