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March 22, 1985

Pro-UK: another entry in the thrombolytic arena

JAMA. 1985;253(12):1694. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350360018002

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Another fibrin-specific substance, which its proponents believe may surpass recombinant human tissue-type plasminogen activator as a clot-lysing agent in certain respects and prove complementary to it in others, is slated to start clinical trials this summer.

Pro-UK, a single-chain, inactive zymogen form of urokinase that is also known as kidney plasminogen activator, is naturally present in the body in the same concentration as native tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA), according to several investigators (J Biol Chem 1982;257:7262-7268).

Victor Gurewich, MD, professor of medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, and director of the Vascular Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Research, at affiliated St Elizabeth's Hospital, told JAMA MEDICAL NEWS: "It looks like pro-UK is the body's circulating activator, a sort of backup system that goes where it's needed, while t-PA was designed by nature not to circulate but to work locally, at the site of a clot."

Pro-UK was discovered in Gurewich's