Reprogrammed streptokinases develop fibrin-targeting and dissolve blood clots with more potency than tissue plasminogen activator

I. Y. Sazonova, R. A. McNamee, A. K. Houng, S. M. King, L. Hedstrom, Guy L. Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Given the worldwide epidemic of cardiovascular diseases, a more effective means of dissolving thrombi that cause heart attacks, could markedly reduce death, disability and healthcare costs. Plasminogen activators (PAs) such as streptokinase (SK) and tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) are currently used to dissolve fibrin thrombi. SK is cheaper and more widely available, but it appears less effective because it lacks TPA's fibrin-targeted properties that focus plasminogen activation on the fibrin surface. Objective: We examined whether re-programming SK's mechanism of action would create PAs with greater fibrin-targeting and potency than TPA. Methods and Results: When fibrinogen consumption was measured in human plasma, reprogrammed molecules SKΔ1 and SK Δ 59 were 5-fold and > 119-fold more fibrin-dependent than SK (P < 0.0001), and 2-fold and > 50-fold more fibrin-dependent than TPA (P < 0.001). The marked fibrin-targeting of SKΔ59 was due to the fact that: (i) it did not generate plasmin in plasma, (ii) it was rapidly inhibited by α2-antiplasmin, and (iii) it only processed fibrin-bound plasminogen. To assess the fibrin-targeting and therapeutic potential of these PAs in vivo, a novel 'humanized' fibrinolysis model was created by reconstituting plasminogen-deficient mice with human plasminogen. When compared with TPA, SKΔ1 and SKΔ59 were 4-fold (P < 0.0001) and 2-fold (P < 0.003) more potent at dissolving blood clots in vivo, respectively, on a mass-dose basis and 2-3 logs more potent than TPA (P < 0.0001) when doses were calibrated by standard activity assays. Conclusion: These experiments suggest that reprogramming SK's mechanism of action markedly enhances fibrin-targeting and creates, in comparison with TPA, activators with greater fibrinolytic potency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1321-1328
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Fibrin specificity
  • Fibrinolysis
  • Streptokinase
  • Tissue plasminogen activator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


Dive into the research topics of 'Reprogrammed streptokinases develop fibrin-targeting and dissolve blood clots with more potency than tissue plasminogen activator'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this