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Biomedical Reviews

Studies and perspectives of plasminogen activators

Michael Steiner, Christine Burstein, Olaf Anders, B. Ernst


The fibrinolytic system participates in a variety of physiological and pathological processes. It consists of an inactive proenzyme, plasminogen, which can be activated to the active serine protease plasmin by the action of different types of plasminogen activators. The main function of the fibrinolytic system is to dissolve fibrin deposits in blood vessels. Thrombogenesis can be influenced by an insufficient or ineffective fibrinolytic system. The tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) receives considerable attention since its deficiency has been shown to be a leading cause for thrombophilic situations. Increases of its main inhibitor (PAI) probably play a similar role. Using the advantages of recombinant DNA technology modem thrombolytic drugs based on the structure of plasminogen activators are applied for the therapy of thromboembolic diseases. Structure and function of the fibrinolytic system are outlined in the following review. Diagnostic evaluation of the fibrinolytic system and therapeutic considerations are discussed.

Biomedical Reviews 1992; 1: 33-38.

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About The Authors

Michael Steiner
University of Rostock

Christine Burstein
University of Rostock

Olaf Anders
University of Rostock

B. Ernst
University of Rostock

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