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REVIEW: Fibrinogen-Fibrin System Regulators from Bloodsuckers

L. L. Zavalova1, A. V. Basanova2, and I. P. Baskova2*

1Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Miklukho-Maklaya 16/10, Moscow, 117997 Russia; fax: (095) 330-6538; E-mail: leech@humgen.siobc.ras.ru

2School of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, 119899 Russia; fax: (095) 939-1745

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received July 3, 2001; Revision received August 2, 2001
Thrombin inhibitors from bloodsucking leeches and insects that block conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin are considered. Regulatory mechanisms influencing the fibrinogen-fibrin system in leeches include fibrinogen degradation, inhibition of factor XIIIa, and lysis of fibrin clots. The review also summarizes recent data on plasminogen activator from the vampire bat Desmodus rotundus and a role of fibrin as its cofactor.
KEY WORDS: bloodsuckers, insects, leeches, vampire bat, thrombin inhibitors, fibrinogen, fibrin, fibrinogenolysis, fibrinolysis, factor XIIIa inhibitor, plasminogen activator