OBJECTIVE: Post-translational modifications of fibrinogen influence the occurrence and progression of thrombotic diseases. In this systematic review, we assessed the current literature on post-translational modifications of fibrinogen and their effects on fibrin formation and clot characteristics. Approach and Results: A systematic search of Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science was performed to find studies reporting post-translational modifications of fibrinogen and the effects on clot formation and structure. Both in vitro studies and ex vivo studies using patient material were included. One hundred five articles were included, describing 11 different modifications of fibrinogen. For the best known and studied modifications, conclusions could be drawn about their effect on clot formation and structure. Oxidation, high levels of nitration, and glycosylation inhibit the rate of polymerization, resulting in dense clots with thinner fibers, while low levels of nitration increase the rate of polymerization. Glycation showed different results for polymerization, but fibrinolysis was found to be decreased, as a consequence of increased density and decreased permeability of clots. Acetylation also decreases the rate of polymerization but results in increased fiber diameters and susceptibility to fibrinolysis. Other modifications were studied less or contrasting results were found. Therefore, substantial gaps in the knowledge about the effect of post-translational modifications remain. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, post-translational modifications do affect clot formation and characteristics. More studies need to be performed to reveal the effects of all post-translational modifications and the effects on thrombotic diseases. Expanding the knowledge about modifications of fibrinogen can ultimately contribute to optimizing treatments for thrombotic diseases.

fibrin, fibrinogen, fibrinolysis, polymerization, systematic review
dx.doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.313626, hdl.handle.net/1765/125410
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Department of Hematology

de Vries, J.J. (Judith J.), Snoek, C.J.M. (Charlotte J M), Rijken, D.C, & de Maat, M.P.M. (2020). Effects of Post-Translational Modifications of Fibrinogen on Clot Formation, Clot Structure, and Fibrinolysis: A Systematic Review. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 40(3), 554–569. doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.313626