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Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2010 May;20(4):120-4. doi: 10.1016/j.tcm.2010.10.002.

Plasminogen and its receptors as regulators of cardiovascular inflammatory responses.

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Departmentof Molecular Cardiology, Lerner ResearchInstitute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44130, USA.


In addition to its role in fibrinolysis, plasminogen (Plg) influences inflammatory cell migration and thereby plays a prominent role in cardiovascular pathology. The contribution of Plg to inflammatory cell recruitment depends on its tethering to the surface of responding cells. Plasminogen receptors (Plg-Rs) are heterogeneous and can be classified as tailless, lacking cytoplasmic tails, or tailed (having cytoplasmic tails). In vivo observations implicate several tailless Plg-Rs in inflammatory responses. Tailed Plg-Rs on leukocytes include several integrins, which have also been implicated in Plg-dependent responses. Surface expression of both tailless and tailed Plg-Rs can be modulated in number and/or function. A common mechanism involving intracellular calcium mobilization and calcium channels regulates expression of both classes of Plg-Rs. Data are emerging to indicate that targeting Plg and Plg-Rs may limit inflammation and cardiovascular pathology.

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