Transglutaminase saves lives!
Blood clot formation is a vital process to prevent live threatening blood loss after injuries. The plasmatic part of blood coagulation
cascade can be divided into three steps:
- Cascade leading to activation of prothrombin (T091)
- Fibrinogen (F004) activation by thrombin (T056, T090) and fibrin aggregation (soft blood clot)
- Factor XIII activation by thrombin and cross-linking of fibrin fibers as well as covalent decoration with antifibrinolytics
Plasma transglutaminase factor XIII plays an essential role in blood clot formation. In addition, factor XIII is unique in this process, as all the other enzymes involved are proteases. Factor XIII renders the blood clot stiff and resistant against fibrinolytic degradation. Due to the fact that it is the only transglutaminase in the cascade, it offers the opportunity for a unique modulation of coagulation and in consequence promising approaches e.g. to prophylaxis of thrombotic events in risk patients.
An excellent historical account on FXIII
in blood clotting is given by Laszlo Lorand: Factor XIII
and the clotting of fibrinogen: from basic research to medicine. J. Thromb. Haemost. 2005, 3:1337-48.
Novel compounds developed by medicinal chemists at Zedira
guide the way to small molecules targeting selectively coagulation factor XIII
. In contrast to the currently available therapies, factor XIII
blocking allows formation of a weak fibrin clot. This prevents bleeding lowering the risk of lifethreatening complications.