Identification of fibrin clot-bound plasma proteins

PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e41966. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041966. Epub 2012 Aug 3.


Several proteins are known to bind to a fibrin network and to change clot properties or function. In this study we aimed to get an overview of fibrin clot-bound plasma proteins. A plasma clot was formed by adding thrombin, CaCl(2) and aprotinin to citrated platelet-poor plasma and unbound proteins were washed away with Tris-buffered saline. Non-covalently bound proteins were extracted, separated with 2D gel electrophoresis and visualized with Sypro Ruby. Excised protein spots were analyzed with mass spectrometry. The identity of the proteins was verified by checking the mass of the protein, and, if necessary, by Western blot analysis. Next to established fibrin-binding proteins we identified several novel fibrin clot-bound plasma proteins, including α(2)-macroglobulin, carboxypeptidase N, α(1)-antitrypsin, haptoglobin, serum amyloid P, and the apolipoproteins A-I, E, J, and A-IV. The latter six proteins are associated with high-density lipoprotein particles. In addition we showed that high-density lipoprotein associated proteins were also present in fibrinogen preparations purified from plasma. Most plasma proteins in a fibrin clot can be classified into three groups according to either blood coagulation, protease inhibition or high-density lipoprotein metabolism. The presence of high-density lipoprotein in clots might point to a role in hemostasis.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation / physiology*
  • Blood Proteins / chemistry*
  • Blood Proteins / classification
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Fibrin / chemistry*
  • Fibrin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Multiprotein Complexes / chemistry*
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism


  • Blood Proteins
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Fibrin

Grants and funding

These authors have no support or funding to report.