, Volume 74, Issue 5-6, pp 319-331,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 30 Jun 2012

Evolution of Thrombin and Other Hemostatic Proteases by Survey of Protochordate, Hemichordate, and Echinoderm Genomes


Protochordate genomes enable a prevalence of hemostasis evolution. Broad searches were performed for homologs of human serine proteases of hemostasis on the genomes of Branchiostoma floridae, Saccoglossus kowalevskii, and Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Sequences were analyzed by multiple bioinformatic tools. The survey revealed numerous homologous components. Amphioxus was rich in some serine proteases not accompanied by gamma-carboxyglutamic or kringle domains similar more to thrombin than to other coagulation factors. The serine proteases found in amphioxus exhibited the attributes similar to those of thrombin by phylogeny relationships, sequence conservation, gene synteny, spatial structure, and ligand docking. A few plasminogen- and plasminogen activators-like proteases with kringles were also present. Those serine proteases demonstrated the greatest proximity rather to plasminogen or plasminogen activators than to thrombin. Searching for homologs of serine protease hemostatic factors in acorn worm and sea urchin revealed several components similar to those found in amphioxus. Hypothetically, the common ancestor of chordates had three separate serine proteases that evolved independently into immunoglobulin-like and kringle proteases in lancelets, and prothrombin, plasminogen activators, and plasminogen in vertebrates. Ancestral proteases evolved in vertebrates into hemostasis factors after merging the proper N-terminal domains and duplications.