Gas6 is a platelet-response amplifier that, if inhibited, protects from thrombosis without inducing bleeding. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a common condition that can be fatal if fractions of the clot break off and lodge in the arteries of the lungs. Heparin, warfarin and aspirin prevent clot formation but may induce bleeding.
In the February
Anne Angelillo-Scherrer and colleagues found that when the gene coding for a vitamin K-dependent protein called growth arrest-specific gene 6 product (Gas6) is inactivated mice do not suffer fatal blood clotting. In addition the mice do not suffer from excessive bleeding (
Antibodies against Gas6 inhibited platelet aggregation in vitro and protected mice against fatal thrombosis, suggesting Gas6 as a target for new, 'smart', anti-thrombotic drugs.