Hirudins: Single-chain polypeptides of about 65 amino acids (7 kDa) from LEECHES that have a neutral hydrophobic N terminus, an acidic hydrophilic C terminus, and a compact, hydrophobic core region. Recombinant hirudins lack tyr-63 sulfation and are referred to as 'desulfato-hirudins'. They form a stable non-covalent complex with ALPHA-THROMBIN, thereby abolishing its ability to cleave FIBRINOGEN.Thrombin: An enzyme formed from PROTHROMBIN that converts FIBRINOGEN to FIBRIN.Antithrombins: Endogenous factors and drugs that directly inhibit the action of THROMBIN, usually by blocking its enzymatic activity. They are distinguished from INDIRECT THROMBIN INHIBITORS, such as HEPARIN, which act by enhancing the inhibitory effects of antithrombins.Partial Thromboplastin Time: The time required for the appearance of FIBRIN strands following the mixing of PLASMA with phospholipid platelet substitute (e.g., crude cephalins, soybean phosphatides). It is a test of the intrinsic pathway (factors VIII, IX, XI, and XII) and the common pathway (fibrinogen, prothrombin, factors V and X) of BLOOD COAGULATION. It is used as a screening test and to monitor HEPARIN therapy.Fibrinopeptide A: Two small peptide chains removed from the N-terminal segment of the alpha chains of fibrinogen by the action of thrombin during the blood coagulation process. Each peptide chain contains 18 amino acid residues. In vivo, fibrinopeptide A is used as a marker to determine the rate of conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin by thrombin.Leeches: Annelids of the class Hirudinea. Some species, the bloodsuckers, may become temporarily parasitic upon animals, including man. Medicinal leeches (HIRUDO MEDICINALIS) have been used therapeutically for drawing blood since ancient times.Heparin: A highly acidic mucopolysaccharide formed of equal parts of sulfated D-glucosamine and D-glucuronic acid with sulfaminic bridges. The molecular weight ranges from six to twenty thousand. Heparin occurs in and is obtained from liver, lung, mast cells, etc., of vertebrates. Its function is unknown, but it is used to prevent blood clotting in vivo and vitro, in the form of many different salts.Fibrinopeptide B: Two small peptide chains removed from the N-terminal segment of the beta chains of fibrinogen by the action of thrombin. Each peptide chain contains 20 amino acid residues. The removal of fibrinopeptides B is not required for coagulation.Receptors, Thrombin: A family of proteinase-activated receptors that are specific for THROMBIN. They are found primarily on PLATELETS and on ENDOTHELIAL CELLS. Activation of thrombin receptors occurs through the proteolytic action of THROMBIN, which cleaves the N-terminal peptide from the receptor to reveal a new N-terminal peptide that is a cryptic ligand for the receptor. The receptors signal through HETEROTRIMERIC GTP-BINDING PROTEINS. Small synthetic peptides that contain the unmasked N-terminal peptide sequence can also activate the receptor in the absence of proteolytic activity.Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Antithrombin III: A plasma alpha 2 glycoprotein that accounts for the major antithrombin activity of normal plasma and also inhibits several other enzymes. It is a member of the serpin superfamily.Fibrinolytic Agents: Fibrinolysin or agents that convert plasminogen to FIBRINOLYSIN.Blood Coagulation: The process of the interaction of BLOOD COAGULATION FACTORS that results in an insoluble FIBRIN clot.Fibrinogen: Plasma glycoprotein clotted by thrombin, composed of a dimer of three non-identical pairs of polypeptide chains (alpha, beta, gamma) held together by disulfide bonds. Fibrinogen clotting is a sol-gel change involving complex molecular arrangements: whereas fibrinogen is cleaved by thrombin to form polypeptides A and B, the proteolytic action of other enzymes yields different fibrinogen degradation products.Whole Blood Coagulation Time: The time required by whole blood to produce a visible clot.Fibrin: A protein derived from FIBRINOGEN in the presence of THROMBIN, which forms part of the blood clot.Prothrombin: A plasma protein that is the inactive precursor of thrombin. It is converted to thrombin by a prothrombin activator complex consisting of factor Xa, factor V, phospholipid, and calcium ions. Deficiency of prothrombin leads to hypoprothrombinemia.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Blood Coagulation Tests: Laboratory tests for evaluating the individual's clotting mechanism.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.