Urokinase

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Enzymes and Protein Drugs

Urokinase is serine protease enzyme isolated from human urine and from human kidney cells by tissue culture or by recombinant DNA technology.


UROKINASE

 

 

Synonym

 

Uroquinase.

 

Biological Source

 

Urokinase is serine protease enzyme isolated from human urine and from human kidney cells by tissue culture or by recombinant DNA technology.

 

Preparation

 

Urokinase is a fibrinolytic enzyme produced by recombinant DNA using genetically manipulated E. coli cells. It is produced firstly as prourokinase q.v. and then converted to active form by plasmin or kallikrein. Urokinase used medicinally is also purified directly from human urine. It binds to a range of adsorbents such as silica gel or kaolin which can be use to initially concentrate and purify the product. It can be further purified by precipitation with sodium chloride or ethanol or by chromatography. Human urokinase needs sterile filtration, a septic filling and freeze drying.

 

Characteristics

 

Urokinase enzyme occurs in two different forms as single and double polypeptide chain forms. It has a half-life of 10–16 minutes after intravenous administration. These enzymes act on an endogenous fibrinolytic system.

 

Chemical Constituents

 

Urokinase enzymes are serine proteases that occur as a single low molecular weight (33 kDa) and double, high molecular weight (54 kDa) polypeptide chain forms. They differ in molecular weight considerably. A single chain is produced by recombinant DNA technique and is known as SCUPA.

 

Uses

 

Urokinase is used in the treatment of pulmonary embolism, coronary artery thrombosis and for restoring the potency of intravenous catheters. It is generally administered intra-venously in a dose of 4,400 units/kg body weight per hour for twelve hours.

 

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