The anticoagulant protein C system regulates the activity of coagulation factors VIIIa and Va, cofactors in the activation of factor X and prothrombin, respectively. Protein C is activated on endothelium by the thrombin-thrombomodulin-EPCR (endothelial protein C receptor) complex. Activated protein C (APC)-mediated cleavages of factors VIIIa and Va occur on negatively charged phospholipid membranes and involve protein cofactors, protein S and factor V. APC also has anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic activities that involve binding of APC to EPCR and cleavage of PAR-1 (protease-activated receptor-1). Genetic defects affecting the protein C system are the most common risk factors of venous thrombosis. The protein C system contains multi-domain proteins, the molecular recognition of which will be reviewed.