Scientists’ discovery of blood clotting mechanism could lead to new antithrombotic drugs

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Sumary of Scientists’ discovery of blood clotting mechanism could lead to new antithrombotic drugs:

  • For the first time, researchers have identified the specific mechanism of von Willebrand Factor (vWF)―an essential blood clotting protein―that enables it to bind to platelets and initiate clotting..
  • The large and mysterious glycoprotein moves through the blood, balled up tightly, its reaction sites unexposed..
  • However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 60,000 to 100,000 Americans die each year from thrombosis, a disorder characterized by too much clotting..
  • Frank Zhang, associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Lehigh University, only one drug has been FDA-approved to target vWF and treat thrombosis, or excessive blood clotting disorders, Caplacizumab..
  • Until now, for the first time, Zhang and his colleagues from Emory University School of Medicine and the University of Nottingham have identified the specific structural element of vWF that allows it to bind with platelets and initiate clotting..
  • “The AIM module allows the vWF molecule to remain non-reactive in normal circulating blood, and activates the vWF instantly upon bleeding,”.
  • An essential feature of vWF is that it remains non-reactive towards platelets most of the time in circulation, says Zhang..
  • However, at bleeding sites, vWF can be activated almost instantly to achieve platelet adhesion and blood clot formation….

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