How do Protein S and APC interact?
Only the free, native form of PS binds to APC and functions as a cofactor. PS has the highest affinity for negatively charged phospholipids of all the vitamin K-dependent proteins and has been shown to increase by approximately 10-fold, the affinity of APC for membranes or vesicles containing such phospholipids. This may be of physiological importance since APC degrades preferentially membrane-bound FVa and FVIIIa, but not the circulating, inactivated co-factors. In addition to increasing the affinity of APC to membranes, PS also enhances the cleavage of FVa by APC and works in concert with FV to increase the ability of APC to inactivate FVIIIa.