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Coagulation factor and protease pathways in thrombosis and cardiovascular disease
03 February 2017
Accepted after minor revision: 27 April 2017
11 November 2017 (online)
The biochemical characterisation of the proteolytic pathways that constitute blood coagulation was one of the most relevant achievements in biomedical research during the second half of the 20th century. Understanding these pathways was of crucial importance for improving global health through application in haemostasis and thrombosis pathologies. Immediately after the cloning of the genes corresponding to these proteins, mutations were discovered in them that were associated with imbalances in haemostasis. Later, the importance of coagulation pathways in other pathological processes was demonstrated, such as in atherosclerosis and inflammation, both essential processes involved in vascular disease. In the present review we evaluate the concepts that have allowed us to reach the integrated vision on coagulation that we have today. The thrombo-inflammation model encompassing these aspects includes a pivotal role for the proteases of the coagulation pathway as well as the regulatory proteins thereof. These concepts illustrate the importance of the coagulation cascade in cardiovascular pathology, not only in thrombotic processes, but also in atherosclerotic processes and in the response to ischaemia-reperfusion injury, making it a central mechanism in cardiovascular disease.
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