Hidden Potential of Highly Efficient and Widely Accessible Thrombolytic Staphylokinase
Stroke burden is substantially increasing but current therapeutic drugs are still far from ideal. Here we highlight the vast potential of staphylokinase as an efficient, fibrin-selective, inexpensive, and evolvable thrombolytic agent. The emphasis is escalated by new recent findings. Staphylokinase nonimmunogenic variant was proven noninferior to alteplase in a clinical trial, with decreased risk of intracranial hemorrhage and the advantage of single bolus administration. Furthermore, our detailed kinetic analysis revealed a new staphylokinase limiting bottleneck whose elimination might provide up to 1000-fold higher activity than the clinically approved alteplase. This knowledge of limitations unlocks new possibilities for improvements that are now achievable by the community of protein engineers who have the required expertise and are ready to transform staphylokinase into a powerful molecule. Collectively, the noninferiority and safety of nonimmunogenic staphylokinase together with the newly identified effectivity limitation make staphylokinase a perfect candidate for further exploration, modification, and advancement to make it the next-generation widely accessible thrombolytic drug effectively treating stroke all around the world, including middle- and low-income countries.