Differential roles of Tissue Factor and Phosphatidylserine in activation of coagulation

Henri M. H. Spronk*, Hugo ten Cate, Paola E. J. van der Meijden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


It has been suggested that the main physiological trigger of coagulation, tissue factor, possesses limited procoagulant activity and occurs in an inactive or so-called encrypted state. For the conversion of encrypted into decrypted tissue factor with sufficient procoagulant activity, four distinct models have been proposed: 1; dimer formation, 2; lipid rafts, 3; disulfide bonds, and 4; phosphatidylserine exposure. Pro and cons can be given for each of these mechanisms of tissue factor encryption/decryption, however, it seems most likely that two or more mechanisms act together in activating the procoagulant activity. The exposure of phosphatidylserine in the outer layer of cell membranes supports coagulation through enhanced formation of the tenase (factors IXa, VIIIa and X) and prothrombinase (factors Xa, Va and prothrombin) complexes. The proposed role for phosphatidylserine in decryption of tissue factor could contribute to the correct orientation of the tissue factor - factor VII complex. Overall, the contribution of both tissue factor and phosphatidylserine to coagulation seems distinct with tissue factor being the physiological activator and phosphatidylserine the driving force of propagation of coagulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S54-S56
JournalThrombosis Research
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

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