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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 Dec;947:143-55; discussion 155-6.

A mediator of cell surface-specific plasmin generation.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


It has become increasingly evident that the generation of cell surface proteases including plasmin is fundamental to a wide variety of in vivo biological processes. Cell surface receptors allow for specific controlled proteolysis, provide protection from inhibitors, and enhance catalytic efficiency. Here we describe one such receptor, annexin II, which serves as a coreceptor for tissue plasminogen activator and plasminogen and is found on a wide variety of cell types including endothelial cells, some tumor cells, monocytes and macrophages, and neuronal cells. Evidence indicates that annexin II may be crucial to the efficient generation of cell surface plasmin, endothelial cell formation of new blood vessels, and maintenance of vascular patency. Additionally, it has been shown that annexin II expression in acute promyelocytic leukemia contributes to the bleeding diathesis seen in this disease and that inhibition of annexin II may be an important mechanism in the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. Furthermore, emerging evidence reveals the importance of annexin II on the surface of monocytes and macrophages, where it may contribute to the cells' ability to degrade extracellular matrix proteins and migrate to sites of injury or inflammation.

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