Secrets of blood clotting

May 24, 2023 | Biology

Researchers from the University of Reading partnered with Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Sweden to show how the reduction of a key protein prevents the formation of blood clots in three mammal species - bears, pigs, and humans - when they remain immobile for an extended period of time.

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A protein, known as Hsp47, is reduced by 55 times when an individual is immobilized for a long period of time. This could lead to new medicines that could aid those who are predisposed to blood clotting disorders which puts them at a risk for pulmonary embolism, heart attack and stroke.

Seeing this mechanism in multiple species reinforces its importance. Hsp47 is a necessary ingredient that enables the platelets to do their job. Although counterintuitive, in examining the role of Hsp47 in clotting function, they found out that when Hsp47 is released into the bloodstream of bears, mice, and humans, it gives rise to deep vein thrombosis.

 The researchers are unsure about the reason behind but there is something about mechanical forces involved in moving around that actually impacts gene expression, consequently increasing the amount of Hsp47 that circulates around the blood. Taking blood samples from hibernating bears, paralyzed individuals and pigs kept in small pens, and comparing them to their mobile counterparts, the proteomics experiments showed that that absence of movement was connected with having far less Hsp47.

New medicines that are able to inhibit the function of Hsp47 in blood clotting might protect mobile people who are prone to clots. 

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