The plasminogen system is composed of the zymogen, plasminogen, the active serine protease, plasmin, and the activators, inhibitors and modulators of plasmin activity. This system plays an indispensable physiological role by mediating the lysis of fibrin deposits and, thereby, controlling vascular patency and tissue integrity. In addition to fibrin, plasmin cleaves a variety of matrix proteins, activates numerous metalloproteinases and regulates the activities of multiple growth factors and cytokines. These additional substrates of plasmin suggest that the plasminogen system may facilitate cell migration. The development of Pig1 mice has provided a direct means to assess the functions of plasminogen in cell migration, and support is evolving for this role. The capacity of plasminogen to influence cell migration depends upon its interaction with plasminogen receptors, a heterogeneous set of cellular proteins with C-terminal lysines that interact with the lysine binding sites (LBS) in the kringle domains of plasmin(ogen). Cell migration is an elicited response; and, therefore, modulation of plasminogen binding to cells provides a potentially important regulatory mechanism. Marked up- and down-regulation of plasminogen binding to cells have been demonstrated, but the mechanisms underlying these changes remain obscure.
In Aim 1, a unifying membrane remodeling hypothesis to explain the regulation of plasminogen binding to cells will be tested. This hypothesis postulates that a variety of cellular responses, ranging from cell adhesion to apoptosis to oncogenic transformation, modulates the cell surface to expose proteins with C-terminal lysines that serve as plasminogen receptors. This hypothesis will be tested not only in vitro, but also by examining changes in plasminogen binding and plasminogen receptor expression in vivo.
In Aim 2, the presumed contribution of the LBS within the plasminogen kringles to the fibrinolytic and cell migratory functions of plasminogen will be tested in vivo. These studies will utilize plasminogen derivatives lacking specific kringles, either prepared by biochemical approaches or expressed as transgenes in P1g-/- mice to determine how the LBS contribute to the biological functions of plasminogen in vivo. Biological modifiers of LBS activity, molecules that interfere with their function, could exert profound effects on the plasminogen system. Two such biological modifiers are apo(a), which is composed of multiple kringles, including ones with LBS activity, and plasma carboxypeptidaseB, TAFI, which removes the C-terminal lysines from degrading fibrin and cell surfaces.
In Aim 3, the influence of these two biological modifiers on the functions of plasminogen will be analyzed in vivo using mice expressing apo(a) or deficient in TAR. Taken together, these studies seek to bring insights into the physiological and pathophysiological roles of the plasminogen system and its regulation.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Hematology Subcommittee 2 (HEM)
Program Officer
Hasan, Ahmed AK
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Cleveland Clinic Lerner
Other Basic Sciences
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Szpak, Dorota; Izem, Lahoucine; Verbovetskiy, Dmitriy et al. (2018) ?M?2 Is Antiatherogenic in Female but Not Male Mice. J Immunol 200:2426-2438
Huang, Menggui; Sannaningaiah, Devaraja; Zhao, Nan et al. (2015) EMILIN2 regulates platelet activation, thrombus formation, and clot retraction. PLoS One 10:e0115284
DiDonato, Joseph A; Aulak, Kulwant; Huang, Ying et al. (2014) Site-specific nitration of apolipoprotein A-I at tyrosine 166 is both abundant within human atherosclerotic plaque and dysfunctional. J Biol Chem 289:10276-92
Soloviev, Dmitry A; Hazen, Stanley L; Szpak, Dorota et al. (2014) Dual role of the leukocyte integrin ?M?2 in angiogenesis. J Immunol 193:4712-21
Gong, Yanqing; Zhao, Yujing; Li, Ying et al. (2014) Plasminogen regulates cardiac repair after myocardial infarction through its noncanonical function in stem cell homing to the infarcted heart. J Am Coll Cardiol 63:2862-72
Huang, Ying; DiDonato, Joseph A; Levison, Bruce S et al. (2014) An abundant dysfunctional apolipoprotein A1 in human atheroma. Nat Med 20:193-203
Das, Riku; Ganapathy, Swetha; Settle, Megan et al. (2014) Plasminogen promotes macrophage phagocytosis in mice. Blood 124:679-88
Jia, Jie; Arif, Abul; Terenzi, Fulvia et al. (2014) Target-selective protein S-nitrosylation by sequence motif recognition. Cell 159:623-34
Huang, Menggui; Gong, Yanqing; Grondolsky, Jessica et al. (2014) Lp(a)/apo(a) modulate MMP-9 activation and neutrophil cytokines in vivo in inflammation to regulate leukocyte recruitment. Am J Pathol 184:1503-17
DiDonato, Joseph A; Huang, Ying; Aulak, Kulwant S et al. (2013) Function and distribution of apolipoprotein A1 in the artery wall are markedly distinct from those in plasma. Circulation 128:1644-55

Showing the most recent 10 out of 72 publications