CC BY 4.0 · TH Open 2018; 02(02): e218-e228
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1660505
Review Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Effects of Plasmin on von Willebrand Factor and Platelets: A Narrative Review

Lisa N. van der Vorm
1  Synapse Research Institute, Maastricht, The Netherlands
2  Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands
3  Department of Clinical Chemistry and Hematology, Gelre Hospitals, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
,
Jasper A. Remijn
2  Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands
3  Department of Clinical Chemistry and Hematology, Gelre Hospitals, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
,
Bas de Laat
1  Synapse Research Institute, Maastricht, The Netherlands
2  Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands
3  Department of Clinical Chemistry and Hematology, Gelre Hospitals, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
,
Dana Huskens
1  Synapse Research Institute, Maastricht, The Netherlands
2  Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

28 February 2018

03 May 2018

Publication Date:
07 June 2018 (online)

Abstract

Plasmin is the major fibrinolytic protease responsible for dissolving thrombi by cleavage of its primary substrate fibrin. In addition, emerging evidence points to other roles of plasmin: (1) as a back-up for ADAMTS13 in proteolysis of ultra-large von Willebrand factor (VWF) multimers and (2) as an activator of platelets. Although the molecular mechanisms of fibrinolysis are well defined, insights on the effects of plasmin on VWF and platelets are relatively scarce and sometimes conflicting. Hence, this review provides an overview of the literature on the effects of plasmin on VWF multimeric structures, on VWF binding to platelets, and on platelet activation. This information is placed in the context of possible applications of thrombolytic therapy for the condition thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.