Annexin V (ANV) is a calcium-dependent glycoprotein with a potent anticoagulant capacity in vitro, mainly as a result of its negatively charged membrane phospholipids, and capable of inhibiting the prothrombinase and Tensa complexes to reduce plaque adhesion and aggregation. Circulating ANV can be released from the cells of the vascular wall (endothelial cells, smooth muscles cells) or from secretor cells of the spleen and liver. Once it is in the plasma, it binds to blood cells (platelets and erythrocytes) or to endothelial cells (1). Annexin V is also a Ca(2+) dependent membrane-binding protein protein that forms voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels in phospholipid bilayers (2). Structural features suggest that Annexin V attaches with its convex face to membrane by specific calcium mediated interactions with at least three phospholipids. The adjacent membrane bilayer may thus become locally disordered and permeable to allow calcium inflow through the central polar channel of the molecule.
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