Plasminogen activators convert the proenzyme plasminogen to the active serine protease plasmin by hydrolysis of the Arg560-Val561 peptide bond. Physiological plasminogen activation is however regulated by several additional molecular interactions resulting in fibrin-specific clot lysis. Tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) binds to fibrin and thereby acquires a high affinity for plasminogen, resulting in efficient plasmin generation at the fibrin surface. Single-chain urokinase-type plasminogen activator (scu-PA) activates plasminogen directly but with a catalytic efficiency which is about 20 times lower than that of urokinase. In plasma, however, it is inactive in the absence of fibrin. Chimeric plasminogen activators consisting of the NH2-terminal region of t-PA (containing the fibrin-binding domains) and the COOH-terminal region of scu-PA (containing the active site), combine the mechanisms of fibrin specificity of both plasminogen activators. Combination of t-PA and scu-PA infusion in animal models of thrombosis and in patients with coronary artery thrombosis results in a synergic effect on thrombolysis, allowing a reduction of the therapeutic dose and elimination of side effects on the hemostatic system.