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, 30 (6), 641-6




N R Goldsack et al. Int J Biochem Cell Biol.


Thrombin is a multifunctional serine protease which plays a central role in haemostasis by regulating platelet aggregation and blood coagulation. It is formed from its precursor prothrombin following tissue injury and converts fibrinogen to fibrin in the final step of the clotting cascade. It also promotes numerous cellular effects including chemotaxis, proliferation, extracellular matrix turnover and release of cytokines. These actions of thrombin on cells have been implicated in tissue repair processes and in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and fibroproliferative disorders such as pulmonary fibrosis and atherosclerosis. Thrombin mediates its cellular effects by proteolytically activating cell surface receptors. Presently, two such receptors have been described and their roles in regulation of these functions are currently being investigated. The discovery of multiple thrombin receptors creates the possibility of selective receptor blockade of specific thrombin mediated events. New drugs with these actions should add to our current repertoire of thrombin inhibitors used to treat thrombotic diseases.

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