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Adv Nutr. 2012 Mar 1;3(2):196-203. doi: 10.3945/an.111.001826.

Growth arrest-specific gene 6 (gas6) and vascular hemostasis.

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Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Gas6 (growth arrest-specific 6) belongs structurally to the family of plasma vitamin K-dependent proteins. Gas6 has a high structural homology with the natural anticoagulant protein S, sharing the same modular composition. Interestingly, despite the presence of a γ-carboxyglutamic acid domain in its structure, no role in the coagulation cascade has been identified for gas6. Gas6 has been shown to be involved in vascular homeostasis and more precisely is involved in proliferation, apoptosis, efferocytosis, leukocyte migration, and sequestration and platelet aggregation. It is also involved in the activation of different cell types, from platelets to endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells. Thus, it has been shown to play a role in several pathophysiological processes such as atherosclerosis, cancer, and thrombosis. Interestingly, studies using gas6 null mice highlighted that gas6 may represent a novel potential target for anticoagulant therapy, because these animals are protected from lethal venous thromboembolism without excessive bleeding. However, the mechanism in thrombus occurrence remains to be further explored. In the present review, we will focus on the role of gas6 in innate immunity, atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and cancer-related events.

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