Polyphosphate: An ancient molecule that links platelets, coagulation, and inflammation

James H. Morrissey, Sharon H. Choi, Stephanie A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Inorganic polyphosphate is widespread in biology and exhibits striking prohemostatic, prothrombotic, and proinflammatory effects in vivo. Long-chain polyphosphate (of the size present in infectious microorganisms) is a potent, natural pathophysiologic activator of the contact pathway of blood clotting. Medium-chain polyphosphate (of the size secreted from activated human platelets) accelerates factor V activation, completely abrogates the anticoagulant function of tissue factor pathway inhibitor, enhances fibrin clot structure, and greatly accelerates factor XI activation by thrombin. Polyphosphate may have utility as a hemostatic agent, whereas antagonists of polyphosphate may function as novel antithrombotic/antiinflammatory agents. The detailed molecular mechanisms by which polyphosphate modulates blood clotting reactions remain to be elucidated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5972-5979
Number of pages8
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 21 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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