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The role of thrombomodulin lectin-like domain in inflammation

Yi-Heng Li12, Cheng-Hsiang Kuo23, Guey-Yueh Shi23 and Hua-Lin Wu234*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Internal Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital and College of Medicine, Tainan, Taiwan

2 Cardiovascular Research Center, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan

3 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, National Cheng Kung University, College of Medicine, Tainan 701, Taiwan

4 Center for Bioscience and Biotechnology, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan

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Journal of Biomedical Science 2012, 19:34  doi:10.1186/1423-0127-19-34

Published: 27 March 2012


Thrombomodulin (TM) is a cell surface glycoprotein which is widely expressed in a variety of cell types. It is a cofactor for thrombin binding that mediates protein C activation and inhibits thrombin activity. In addition to its anticoagulant activity, recent evidence has revealed that TM, especially its lectin-like domain, has potent anti-inflammatory function through a variety of molecular mechanisms. The lectin-like domain of TM plays an important role in suppressing inflammation independent of the TM anticoagulant activity. This article makes an extensive review of the role of TM in inflammation. The molecular targets of TM lectin-like domain have also been elucidated. Recombinant TM protein, especially the TM lectin-like domain may play a promising role in the management of sepsis, glomerulonephritis and arthritis. These data demonstrated the potential therapeutic role of TM in the treatment of inflammatory diseases.

Thrombomodulin; Lectin; Inflammation