Glycosaminoglycan Neutralization in Coagulation Control

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The glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) heparan sulfate, dermatan sulfate, and heparin are important anticoagulants that inhibit clot formation through interactions with antithrombin and heparin cofactor II. Unfractionated heparin, low-molecular-weight heparin, and heparin-derived drugs are often the main treatments used clinically to handle coagulatory disorders. A wide range of proteins have been reported to bind and neutralize these GAGs to promote clot formation. Such neutralizing proteins are involved in a variety of other physiological processes, including inflammation, transport, and signaling. It is clear that these interactions are important for the control of normal coagulation and influence the efficacy of heparin and heparin-based therapeutics. In addition to neutralization, the anticoagulant activities of GAGs may also be regulated through reduced synthesis or by degradation. In this review, we describe GAG neutralization, the proteins involved, and the molecular processes that contribute to the regulation of anticoagulant GAG activity.

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