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The Molecular Nature and Consequences of Lipoprotein (A)'s Association with Platelets

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Lipoprotein (a) (Lp (a)) may be pro-thrombotic in humans due to its apolipoprotein (a) (apo(a))-mediated decreases in fibrinolysis. Such decreased fibrinolysis arises putatively from interference with plasminogen conversion to plasmin due to the considerable homology between apolipoprotein (a) and plasminogen. However, in vitro, most studies have shown that human Lp (a) decreases agonist-stimulated platelet aggregation while in vivo it appears to decrease aggregation as implied by increased bleeding times with higher blood serum concentrations of Lp(a). Lp (a) binding to platelets mediated by apo (a) increases platelet intracellular c-AMP levels in resting platelets, and decreases platelet production of thromboxane A2 and fibrinogen binding to platelets all of which reduce platelet aggregation. One, though not the only, explanation of these conflicting data may be that Lp(a) self-regulates its interference with fibrinolysis by reducing platelet aggregation and platelet binding of fibrinogen and hence the degree of requirement for fibrinolysis. However, it is concluded more in vivo work needs to be done to fully understand whether, if at all, Lp(a) in varying concentrations and isoforms, favours reduced platelet aggregation or fibrinolysis.

Keywords: Lipoprotein (a); cyclic adenosine monophosphate; fibrinogen; fibrinolysis; platelet aggregation; thromboxane A2

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2007

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.

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