Thromb Haemost 1990; 64(03): 455-463
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1647336
Original Article
Schattauer GmbH Stuttgart

A Precise and Rapid Microtitre Plate Clot Lysis Assay: Methodology, Kinetic Modeling and Measurement of Catalytic Constants for Plasminogen Activation during Fibrinolysis

A J S Jones
The Department of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Genentech, Inc, South San Francisco, California, U.S.A
A M Meunier
The Department of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Genentech, Inc, South San Francisco, California, U.S.A
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Received 20 February 1990

Accepted after revision 02 July 1990

Publication Date:
25 July 2018 (online)


A rapid and precise turbidimetric clot lysis assay employing a microtitre plate reader and personal computer is described in detail. The use of such widely available instrumentation, the convenience and rapid throughput suggest the assay could be developed as a reference method with which to measure the potency of tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) in conjunction with the WHO reference preparation. The method has been used to investigate molecular parameters involved in fibrinolysis. Aggregation status of the fibrin does not appear toinfluence the mechanism of plasminogen activation and clot lysis by plasmin. High ratios of plasminogen to fibrin resulted in a change in clot turbidity and in a change in the lysis profile of turbidity versus time. This is probably the result of plasminogen binding to fibrin and consequent restriction of the access of plasmin to its sites of cleavage in the fibrin. A simple model is proposed, and equations have been derived, for the kinetics of lysis which adequately describe the mechanism and which are confirmed by experimental data. This model results in estimates of the Km and kcat for the activation of plasminogen by t-PA during clot lysis of approximately 150 nM and0.1 s-1, respectively, in excellent agreement with published values The assay should therefore prove useful in quantitative evaluationsof the molecular phenomena occurring during fibrinolysis. The more rapid activation of lys-plasminogen than glu-plasminogen by t-PA was confirmed. However, evidence was obtained that the lys-form binds more tightly to fibrin by the same factor. This observation suggested that the appropriate substrate in the kinetic model is fibrin-bound plasminogen. When the data were re-analysed using published values ofthe affinities of the two forms, t-PA was found to activate both forms indistinguishably on the fibrin surface, consistent with suggestions that the conformation of glu-plasminogen changes to one more like that of lys-plasminogen upon binding to fibrin.