Activation of a plasma fraction containing unactivated Hageman factor and prekallikrein followed by chromatography of this fraction on DEAE-cellulose revealed four peaks having bradykinin-generating activity. Peak 1 contained kallikrein; peaks 2–3, 4, and 5 each contained prekallikrein-activating activity. Elution of peaks 2–3, 4, and 5 from disc gels after electrophoresis at pH 9.3 revealed peaks of prekallikrein-activating activity located at 5–8, 11–12, 15–16, and 20–26 mm, each of which was associated with a peak of clot-promoting activity which specifically corrected Hageman factor deficiency. Conversion of peak 2 to peaks 3, 4, and 5 was associated with a progressive decrease in size, increase in net negative charge, increased prekallikrein-activating activity, and decreased ability to correct Hageman factor deficiency. Plasminogen and plasmin were found on a DEAE-cellulose chromatogram of serum overlapping peaks 2 and 3. Incubation of active Hageman factor with streptokinase-activated plasminogen resulted in enhanced ability of the mixture to activate prekallikrein. Assessment of the products of this reaction by disc gel electrophoresis demonstrated the formation of the prealbumin prekallikrein activator corresponding to the major prekallikrein activator generated by contact activation of human plasma. The conversion of plasminogen to plasmin and the subsequent cleavage of Hageman factor by plasmin to form activators of prekallikrein represents one pathway in which coagulation, fibrinolysis, and inflammation are linked.

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