Activation of the zymogen, factor X, by either the intrinsic or extrinsic factor Xase complexes produces the active serine protease factor Xa. The activation of factor X requires proteolytic cleavage of the heavy chain, resulting in the release of an activation glycopeptide. The heavy chain region in factor Xa contains the serine protease catalytic domain, while the light chain, as in the zymogen, contains the membrane binding domain. Factor Xa participates in the prothrombinase complex, which catalyzes the rapid conversion of prothrombin to thrombin. Prothrombinase is an enzyme complex composed of factor Xa (enzyme) and factor Va (cofactor) assembled on a cellular surface in the presence of calcium ions. Although factor Xa can independently catalyze the activation of prothrombin, the rate at which this reaction occurs is increased nearly 300,000-fold with complete assembly of the prothrombinase complex. The clotting activity of factor Xa in vivo is terminated by either inactivation of the cofactor, factor Va, or by direct inhibition of factor Xa by inhibitors, such as ATIII, after disassembly of the prothrombinase complex.