Thrombomodulin as a regulator of the anticoagulant pathway: implication in the development of thrombosis

Georgia Anastasiou, Argyri Gialeraki, Efrossyni Merkouri, Marianna Politou, Anthi Travlou

Thrombomodulin is a cell surface-expressed glycoprotein that serves as a cofactor for thrombin-mediated activation of protein C (PC), an event further amplified by the endothelial cell PC receptor. The PC pathway is a major anticoagulant mechanism that downregulates thrombin formation and hedges thrombus formation. The objectives of this review were to review recent findings regarding thrombomodulin structure, its involvement in the regulation of hemostasis and further discuss the implication, if any, of the genetic polymorphisms in the thrombomodulin gene in the risk of development of thrombosis. We performed a literature search by using electronic bibliographic databases. Although the direct evaluation of risk situations associated with thrombomodulin mutations/ polymorphisms could be of clinical significance, it appears that mutations that affect the function of thrombomodulin are rarely associated with venous thromboembolism. However, several polymorphisms are reported to be associated with increased risk for arterial thrombosis. Additionally studies on knock out mice as well studies on humans bearing rare mutations suggest that thrombomodulin dysfunction may be implicated in the pathogenesis of myocardial infraction.

Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis 23:1–10

Full Article