Factor VII–Activating Protease Promotes the Proteolysis and Inhibition of Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor
Objective—Factor VII–activating protease (FSAP) activates factor VII as well as prourokinase and inhibits platelet-derived growth factor-BB, thus regulating hemostasis- and remodeling-associated processes in the vasculature. A genetic variant of FSAP (Marburg I polymorphism) results in low enzymatic activity and is associated with an enhanced risk of carotid stenosis and stroke. We postulate that there are additional substrates for FSAP that will help to explain its role in vascular biology and have searched for such a substrate.
Methods and Results—Using screening procedures to determine the influence of FSAP on various hemostasis-related processes on endothelial cells, we discovered that FSAP inhibited tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), a major anticoagulant secreted by these cells. Proteolytic degradation of TFPI by FSAP could also be demonstrated by Western blotting, and the exact cleavage sites were determined by N-terminal sequencing. The Marburg I variant of FSAP had a diminished ability to inhibit TFPI. A monoclonal antibody to FSAP that specifically inhibited FSAP binding to TFPI reversed the inhibitory effect of FSAP on TFPI.
Conclusion—The identification of TFPI as a sensitive substrate for FSAP increases our understanding of its role in regulating hemostasis and proliferative remodeling events in the vasculature.
- Received September 7, 2011.
- Accepted November 4, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.