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Blood. 2011 Nov 3;118(18):4789-97. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-06-334672. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

The role of the annexin A2 heterotetramer in vascular fibrinolysis.

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Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, USA.


The vascular endothelial cells line the inner surface of blood vessels and function to maintain blood fluidity by producing the protease plasmin that removes blood clots from the vasculature, a process called fibrinolysis. Plasminogen receptors play a central role in the regulation of plasmin activity. The protein complex annexin A2 heterotetramer (AIIt) is an important plasminogen receptor at the surface of the endothelial cell. AIIt is composed of 2 molecules of annexin A2 (ANXA2) bound together by a dimer of the protein S100A10. Recent work performed by our laboratory allowed us to clarify the specific roles played by ANXA2 and S100A10 subunits within the AIIt complex, which has been the subject of debate for many years. The ANXA2 subunit of AIIt functions to stabilize and anchor S100A10 to the plasma membrane, whereas the S100A10 subunit initiates the fibrinolytic cascade by colocalizing with the urokinase type plasminogen activator and receptor complex and also providing a common binding site for both tissue-type plasminogen activator and plasminogen via its C-terminal lysine residue. The AIIt mediated colocalization of the plasminogen activators with plasminogen results in the rapid and localized generation of plasmin to the endothelial cell surface, thereby regulating fibrinolysis.

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