The anticoagulant protein C pathway

FEBS Lett. 2005 Jun 13;579(15):3310-6. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2005.03.001. Epub 2005 Mar 13.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticoagulants / chemistry
  • Anticoagulants / metabolism*
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Endothelium / cytology
  • Endothelium / drug effects
  • Endothelium / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Protein C / chemistry
  • Protein C / metabolism*
  • Protein S / metabolism
  • Vitamin K / metabolism
  • Vitamin K / pharmacology


  • Anticoagulants
  • Protein C
  • Protein S
  • Vitamin K