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Am J Hematol. 2007 Nov;82(11):986-95.

The role of nitric oxide in aspirin induced thrombolysis in vitro and the purification of aspirin activated nitric oxide synthase from human blood platelets.

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  • 1Department of Thrombosis Research, Sinha Institute of Medical Science and Technology, Calcutta 700084, West Bengal, India.


Aspirin, a well-known inhibitor of platelet aggregation, is extensively used for the prevention/treatment of coronary artery disease. The beneficial and antithrombotic effects of the compound are related to the inhibition of platelet cyclooxygenase. It is currently believed that aspirin has no effect on the formed thrombus, which results in coronary artery disease. It was found that the exposure of platelets to 4.0 microM aspirin either in vitro or in vivo resulted in fibrinolysis of the formed "clot" produced by the recalcification of platelet-rich plasma due to the production of NO in these cells by the compound. The lysis of clot in the presence of aspirin was found to be related to the fibrinolysis with simultaneous appearance of fibrin degradation products due to the generation of serine proteinase activity by NO in the assay mixture. The aspirin activated nitric oxide synthase that catalyzed the synthesis of NO in platelets was solubilized by Triton X-100 treatment and purified to homogeneity by chromatography on DEAE cellulose and Sephadex G-50 columns. The enzyme was found to be a single chain polypeptide with M.W. 19 kDa. The treatment of human plasminogen with NO was found to directly activate the zymogen to plasmin with the production of preactivation peptide in the absence of cofactors, or cells without the formation of cyclic GMP in the assay mixture.

(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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