Protein Z: "Light and shade" of a new thrombotic factor

Francesco Sofi, Francesca Cesari, Sandra Fedi, Rosanna Abbate, Gian Franco Gensini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Protein Z is a vitamin K-dependent plasma protein described in its human form in 1984. The amino acid sequence of protein Z shows wide homology with many coagulation factors, such as VII, IX, X, and protein C. However, in contrast to other vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors, protein Z is not a serine protease because of the lack of the active centre in its amino acid sequence. The physiological function of protein Z has been uncertain for many years. In vitro and in vivo studies recently suggested that protein Z plays an important role in inhibiting coagulation, as it serves as cofactor for the inactivation of activated factor X by forming a complex with the plasma protein Z-dependent protease inhibitor. The role of alterations of the protein Z levels has been evaluated in different disease states, with conflicting findings. Most of these studies were performed on ischemic vascular diseases. Recently, the possible role of protein Z deficiency in the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases has been evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-652
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Laboratory
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Coagulation factors
  • Protein Z
  • Protein Z-dependent protease inhibitor
  • Thrombosis
  • Vascular diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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