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Fibrinogen (factor I) is a soluble plasma glycoprotein, synthesised by the liver, that is converted by thrombin into fibrin during blood coagulation. This is achieved through processes in the coagulation cascade that activate the zymogen prothrombin to the serine protease thrombin, which is responsible for converting fibrinogen into fibrin. Fibrin is then cross linked by factor XIII to form a clot. FXIIIa stabilizes fibrin further by incorporation of the fibrinolysis inhibitors alpha-2-antiplasmin and TAFI (thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor, procarboxypeptidase B), and binding to several adhesive proteins of various cells. Both the activation of Factor XIII by thrombin and plasminogen activator (t-PA) are catalyzed by fibrin. Fibrin specifically binds the activated coagulation factors factor Xa and thrombin and entraps them in the network of fibers, thus functioning as a temporary inhibitor of these enzymes, which stay active and can be released during fibrinolysis. Recent research has shown that fibrin plays a key role in the inflammatory response and development of rheumatoid arthritis.

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