Advances in vascular thiol isomerase function

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Purpose of review

The present review will provide an overview of several recent advances in the field of vascular thiol isomerase function.

Recent findings

The initial observation that protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) functions in thrombus formation occurred approximately a decade ago. At the time, there was little understanding regarding how PDI or other vascular thiol isomerases contribute to thrombosis. Although this problem is far from solved, the past few years have seen substantial progress in several areas that will be reviewed in this article. The relationship between PDI structure and its function has been investigated and applied to identify domains of PDI that are critical for thrombus formation. The mechanisms that direct thiol isomerase storage and release from platelets and endothelium have been studied. New techniques including kinetic-based trapping have identified substrates that vascular thiol isomerases modify during thrombus formation. Novel inhibitors of thiol isomerases have been developed that are useful both as tools to interrogate PDI function and as potential therapeutics. Human studies have been conducted to measure circulating PDI in disease states and evaluate the effect of oral administration of a PDI inhibitor on ex-vivo thrombin generation.


Current findings indicate that thiol isomerase-mediated disulfide bond modification in receptors and plasma proteins is an important layer of control of thrombosis and vascular function more generally.

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