Polyphosphate modulates blood coagulation and fibrinolysis

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jan 24;103(4):903-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0507195103. Epub 2006 Jan 12.


Inorganic polyphosphate is an abundant component of acidocalcisomes of bacteria and unicellular eukaryotes. Human platelet dense granules strongly resemble acidocalcisomes, and we recently showed that they contain substantial amounts of polyphosphate, which is secreted upon platelet activation. We now report that polyphosphate is a potent hemostatic regulator, accelerating blood clotting by activating the contact pathway and promoting the activation of factor V, which in turn results in abrogation of the function of the natural anticoagulant protein, tissue factor pathway inhibitor. Polyphosphate was also found to delay clot lysis by enhancing a natural antifibrinolytic agent, thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor. Polyphosphate is unstable in blood or plasma, owing to the presence of phosphatases. We propose that polyphosphate released from platelets or microorganisms initially promotes clot formation and stability; subsequent degradation of polyphosphate by blood phosphatases fosters inhibition of clotting and activation of fibrinolysis during wound healing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / chemistry
  • Blood Coagulation Factors / metabolism*
  • Blood Coagulation*
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Carboxypeptidase B2 / metabolism
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / metabolism
  • Factor V / chemistry
  • Factor V / metabolism
  • Fibrinolysis*
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism
  • Polyphosphates / chemistry*
  • Thrombin / chemistry
  • Thrombin / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Wound Healing


  • Anticoagulants
  • Blood Coagulation Factors
  • Lipoproteins
  • Polyphosphates
  • lipoprotein-associated coagulation inhibitor
  • Factor V
  • Carboxypeptidase B2
  • Thrombin