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J Biol Chem. 2011 Dec 9;286(49):41949-62. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.301218. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

Effects of extracellular DNA on plasminogen activation and fibrinolysis.

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  • 1Texas Lung Injury Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, Tyler, Texas 75708-3154, USA.


The increased levels of extracellular DNA found in a number of disorders involving dysregulation of the fibrinolytic system may affect interactions between fibrinolytic enzymes and inhibitors. Double-stranded (ds) DNA and oligonucleotides bind tissue-(tPA) and urokinase (uPA)-type plasminogen activators, plasmin, and plasminogen with submicromolar affinity. The binding of enzymes to DNA was detected by EMSA, steady-state, and stopped-flow fluorimetry. The interaction of dsDNA/oligonucleotides with tPA and uPA includes a fast bimolecular step, followed by two monomolecular steps, likely indicating slow conformational changes in the enzyme. DNA (0.1-5.0 μg/ml), but not RNA, potentiates the activation of Glu- and Lys-plasminogen by tPA and uPA by 480- and 70-fold and 10.7- and 17-fold, respectively, via a template mechanism similar to that known for fibrin. However, unlike fibrin, dsDNA/oligonucleotides moderately affect the reaction between plasmin and α(2)-antiplasmin and accelerate the inactivation of tPA and two chain uPA by plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), which is potentiated by vitronectin. dsDNA (0.1-1.0 μg/ml) does not affect the rate of fibrinolysis by plasmin but increases by 4-5-fold the rate of fibrinolysis by Glu-plasminogen/plasminogen activator. The presence of α(2)-antiplasmin abolishes the potentiation of fibrinolysis by dsDNA. At higher concentrations (1.0-20 μg/ml), dsDNA competes for plasmin with fibrin and decreases the rate of fibrinolysis. dsDNA/oligonucleotides incorporated into a fibrin film also inhibit fibrinolysis. Thus, extracellular DNA at physiological concentrations may potentiate fibrinolysis by stimulating fibrin-independent plasminogen activation. Conversely, DNA could inhibit fibrinolysis by increasing the susceptibility of fibrinolytic enzymes to serpins.

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