Platelet-mediated proteolytic down regulation of the anticoagulant activity of protein S in individuals with haematological malignancies

Ilze Dienava-Verdoold, Marina R. Marchetti, Liane C. J. te Boome, Laura Russo, Anna Falanga, Harry R. Koene, Koen Mertens, Herm Jan M. Brinkman

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The natural anticoagulant protein S contains a so-called thrombin-sensitive region (TSR), which is susceptible to proteolytic cleavage. We have previously shown that a platelet-associated protease is able to cleave protein S under physiological plasma conditions in vitro. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relation between platelet-associated protein S cleaving activity and in vivo protein S cleavage, and to evaluate the impact of in vivo protein S cleavage on its anticoagulant activity. Protein S cleavage in healthy subjects and in thrombocytopenic and thrombocythaemic patients was evaluated by immunological techniques. Concentration of cleaved and intact protein S was correlated to levels of activated protein C (APC)-dependent and APC-independent protein S anticoagulant activity. In plasma from healthy volunteers 25% of protein S is cleaved in the TSR. While in plasma there was a clear positive correlation between levels of intact protein S and both APC-dependent and APC-independent protein S anticoagulant activities, these correlations were absent for cleaved protein S. Protein S cleavage was significantly increased in patients with essential thrombocythaemia (ET) and significantly reduced in patients with chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia. In ET patients on cytoreductive therapy, both platelet count and protein S cleavage returned to normal values. Accordingly, platelet transfusion restored cleavage of protein S to normal values in patients with chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia. In conclusion, proteases from platelets seem to contribute to the presence of cleaved protein Sin the circulation and may enhance the coagulation response in vivo by down regulating the anticoagulant activity of protein S
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-476
JournalThrombosis and haemostasis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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