The risk of occurrence of venous thrombosis: focus on protein Z.

Link to article at PubMed

The risk of occurrence of venous thrombosis: focus on protein Z.

Thromb Res. 2011 Aug 30;

Authors: Bafunno V, Santacroce R, Margaglione M

Protein Z (PZ) is a vitamin K-dependent factor identified in human plasma in 1984 characterized by an homology with other vitamin K-dependent factors. PZ acts as the cofactor of the PZ dependent inhibitor (ZPI), in the inhibition of activated factor X bound on phospholipid surface. In humans, PZ is characterized by an unusual wide distribution in plasma partly explained by a genetic control. Several PZ gene polymorphisms influencing plasma concentration have been described. In mice, the disruption of PZ gene is asymptomatic, but in association with homozygous FV Leiden produced a severe prothrombotic phenotype. This review analyzes the results obtained from different studies so far published in order to understand whether PZ deficiency could be considered as a risk factor for venous thrombosis. The roles of PZ plasma level and PZ gene polymorphisms remain debated with conflicting results. Many of these studies reported low PZ levels in association with an increased risk of venous thrombosis. On the other side, some studies did not observe an association between low levels of PZ and thrombotic events. A relationship between PZ deficiency and pregnancy complications was also described but not confirmed by all studies. These discrepancies can be explained by the heterogeneity of populations chosen as control, by the PZ interindividual variability and by the small size of the cohorts in mainly retrospective studies. Large prospective studies remain to be done to investigate its possible role in thrombosis.

PMID: 21885093 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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