Horizons in Hematological Research

Heparanase and Coagulation–New Insights

Yona Nadir


Heparanase, a β-D-endoglucuronidase abundant in platelets that was discovered 30 years ago, is an enzyme that cleaves heparan sulfate side chains on the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix. It was later recognized as being a pro-inflammatory and pro-metastatic protein. We had earlier demonstrated that heparanase may also affect the hemostatic system in a non-enzymatic manner. We had shown that heparanase up-regulated the expression of the blood coagulation initiator tissue factor (TF) and interacted with the tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) on the cell surface membrane of endothelial and tumor cells, leading to dissociation of TFPI and resulting in increased cell surface coagulation activity. Moreover, we have demonstrated that heparanase directly enhanced TF activity which led to increased factor Xa production and subsequent activation of the coagulation system. Recently, heparanase inhibitory peptides derived of TFPI-2 were demonstrated by us to inhibit heparanase procoagulant activity and attenuate sepsis in mouse models.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2014;5(4):e0031