Seminars in thrombosis and hemostasis vol:39 issue:4 pages:365-372
Thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) was discovered two decades ago consequent to the identification of an unstable carboxypeptidase (CPU) formed upon thrombin activation of its proenzyme. The antifibrinolytic effects of the activated form (TAFIa, CPU) are linked with its capacity to remove C-terminal lysines from the surface of the fibrin clot. A distinctive characteristic of TAFIa is its temperature-dependent conformational instability: TAFIa activity spontaneously decays with an apparent half-life of 8 to 15 minutes at 37°C. A variety of studies has demonstrated a role for TAFI/TAFIa in venous and arterial diseases. In addition, a role for TAFI/TAFIa in inflammation and cell migration has also been shown. Because TAFI/TAFIa is a potential risk factor for thrombotic disorders, many inhibitors, both at the level of activation or at the level of activity, have been developed and were proven to exhibit a profibrinolytic effect in animal models. Pharmacologically active inhibitors of the TAFI/TAFIa system may open new ways for the prevention of thrombotic diseases or for the establishment of adjunctive treatments during thrombolytic therapy.