Definitions for urokinaseˌyʊər əˈkaɪ neɪs, -neɪz
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plasminogen activator, urokinase(noun)
protease produced in the kidney that converts plasminogen to plasmin and so initiates fibrinolysis
An enzyme, found in the urine, which converts plasminogen to plasmin, and is used in the treatment of deep vein thrombosis.
Urokinase, also called urokinase-type plasminogen activator, is a serine protease. It was ﬁrst discovered in 1947 by McFarlane. Urokinase was originally isolated from human urine, but is present in several physiological locations, such as blood stream and the extracellular matrix. The primary physiological substrate is plasminogen, which is an inactive form of the serine protease plasmin. Activation of plasmin triggers a proteolysis cascade that, depending on the physiological environment, participates in thrombolysis or extracellular matrix degradation. This links urokinase to vascular diseases and cancer.
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