Introduction: Factor (F) XI supports both normal human hemostasis and pathological thrombosis. Activated FXI (FXIa) promotes thrombin generation by enzymatic activation of FXI, FIX, FX, and FV, and inactivation of alpha tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPIα), in vitro. Some of these reactions are now known to be enhanced by short-chain polyphosphates (SCP) derived from activated platelets. These SCPs act as a cofactor for the activation of FXI and FV by thrombin and FXIa, respectively. Since SCPs have been shown to inhibit the anticoagulant function of TFPIα, we herein investigated whether SCPs could serve as cofactors for the proteolytic inactivation of TFPIα by FXIa, further promoting the efficiency of the extrinsic pathway of coagulation to generate thrombin.
Methods and results: Purified soluble SCP was prepared by size-fractionation of sodium polyphosphate. TFPIα proteolysis was analyzed by western blot. TFPIα activity was measured as inhibition of FX activation and activity in coagulation and chromogenic assays. SCPs significantly accelerated the rate of inactivation of TFPIα by FXIa in both purified systems and in recalcified plasma. Moreover, platelet-derived SCP accelerated the rate of inactivation of platelet-derived TFPIα by FXIa. TFPIα activity was not affected by SCP in recalcified FXI-depleted plasma.
Conclusions: Our data suggest that SCP is a cofactor for TFPIα inactivation by FXIa, thus, expanding the range of hemostatic FXIa substrates that may be affected by the cofactor functions of platelet-derived SCP.