Antithrombin and heparin

Robin Carrell, Richard Skinner, Mark Wardell, James Whisstock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Antithrombin, the main inhibitor of thrombosis in blood, is bound and activated by the heparin-like side-chains that line the small vasculature. We now have good depictions of the heparin-binding site on antithrombin, and of the way in which mutations at this site cause thrombotic disease. The interaction of heparin with antithrombin is, however, a kinetic one, with binding being followed by formation of a complex with thrombin and then release from the heparin. Our understanding of the processes involved is currently based on crystallographic models but, for a mobile mechanism, these merely provide snapshots - what is needed is a movie.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-231
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Medicine Today
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1995
Externally publishedYes

Cite this