* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received June 15, 2001; Revision received September 21, 2001
The serine protease thrombin is well recognized as being pivotal to the maintenance of hemostasis under both normal and pathological conditions. Its cellular actions are mediated through a unique family of protease-activated receptors (PARs). These receptors represent a novel family of G protein-coupled receptors that undergo proteolytic cleavage of their amino terminus and subsequent autoactivation by a tethered peptide ligand. This paper reviews the consequences of PAR activation in thrombosis, vascular injury, inflammation, tissue injury, and within the tumor microenvironment.
KEY WORDS: thrombin, platelets, vascular injury, inflammation, tumor microenvironment, fibroblasts, protease-activated receptor