Inhibition of polyphosphate as a novel strategy for preventing thrombosis and inflammation

Stephanie A. Smith, Sharon H. Choi, Julie N R Collins, Richard J. Travers, Brian C. Cooley, James H. Morrissey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inorganic polyphosphates are linear polymers of orthophosphate that modulate blood clotting and inflammation. Polyphosphate accumulates in infectious microorganisms and is secreted by activated platelets; long-chain polyphosphate in particular is an extremely potent initiator of the contact pathway, a limb of the clotting cascade important for thrombosis but dispensable for hemostasis. Polyphosphate inhibitors therefore might act as novel antithrombotic/anti-inflammatory agents with reduced bleeding side effects. Antipolyphosphate antibodies are unlikely because of polyphosphate's ubiquity and simple structure; and although phosphatases such as alkaline phosphatase can digest polyphosphate, they take time and may degrade other biologically active molecules. We now identify a panel of polyphosphate inhibitors, including cationic proteins, polymers, and small molecules, and report their effectiveness in vitro and in vivo. We also compare their effectiveness against the procoagulant activity of RNA. Polyphosphate inhibitors were antithrombotic in mouse models of venous and arterial thrombosis and blocked the inflammatory effect of polyphosphate injected intradermally in mice. This study provides proof of principle for polyphosphate inhibitors as antithrombotic/anti- inflammatory agents in vitro and in vivo, with a novel mode of action compared with conventional anticoagulants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5103-5110
Number of pages8
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 20 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Inhibition of polyphosphate as a novel strategy for preventing thrombosis and inflammation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this