Factor XIII

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A blood clotting factor that when activated (by thrombin and calcium) aids linking of fibrin strands thereby stabilizing fibrin mesh network of a blood clot


Coagulation, the process of clot formation, involves platelet and blood clotting factors. In humans, the coagulation mechanism is comprised of two processes, i.e. the primary hemostasis and the secondary hemostasis. The latter entails two pathways: (1) intrinsic pathway (contact activation pathway) and (2) extrinsic pathway (tissue factor pathway). Both pathways lead to the formation of fibrin.

Factor XIII is a blood clotting factor produced from the liver. It is activated by thrombin. Calcium ions also help by acting as a cofactor in converting factor XIII to its active form, factor XIIIa. Factor XIIIa works by helping fibrin strands to cross-link resulting in a stabilized fibrin mesh network. In particular, it aids fibrin to form γ-glutamyl-Є-lysyl amide cross links between fibrin strands. As a result, the clot formed is insoluble. Factor XIII is also used in preventing fibrinolysis (i.e. the breakdown of blood clot). Deficiency in factor XIII therefore would lead to instability of blood clot.


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