What is the mechanism of action of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) for thrombolytic therapy?

Updated: Dec 31, 2017
  • Author: Wanda L Rivera-Bou, MD, FAAEM, FACEP; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a naturally occurring fibrinolytic agent found in vascular endothelial cells and is involved in the balance between thrombolysis and thrombogenesis. It exhibits significant fibrin specificity and affinity. At the site of the thrombus, the binding of tPA and plasminogen to the fibrin surface induces a conformational change that facilitates the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin and dissolves the clot. [1]


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