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Ham-Wasserman lecture: role of the plasminogen system in fibrin-homeostasis and tissue remodeling.

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  • 1Afdeling Moleculaire & Vasculaire Biologie, K.U. Leuven, O & N Gasthuisberg, Herestr. 49, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.


Plasminogen can be converted to plasmin either via the tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) or via the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA)/u-PA receptor (u-PAR) pathway. A dual role for these pathways is now well established: 1) t-PA is involved in fibrin homeostasis and 2) u-PA is primarily involved in cell migration and tissue remodeling. t-PA mediated activation is used for thrombolytic therapy of acute myocardial infarction and some other thromboembolic diseases. The u-PA mediated pathway, in concert with the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) system, plays a pleiotropic role in arterial neointima formation, atherosclerosis, angiogenesis, tumor growth metastasis, and infarction. However, therapeutic interventions in the u-PA/MMP system remain to be further defined.

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