Human urine contains a hitherto unrecognized heparin-dependent inhibitor of activated protein C (APC) (Mr approximately 50,000) that coelutes from heparin-Sepharose together with the only observed peak of urokinase inhibitory activity at a position (0.35 M NaCl) similar to that of plasma protein C (PC) inhibitor. Based on functional assays and immunoblot studies, urokinase and APC compete for this crude inhibitor in the absence or presence of heparin. These results suggest that the same heparin-dependent urinary inhibitor that is immunologically different from several known protease inhibitors is responsible for the observed inhibition of APC and urokinase. In the absence of heparin this inhibitor inhibits APC and urokinase with similar rates, and heparin enhances its inhibitory activity toward both enzymes with more pronounced stimulation of its PC inhibitory activity than its urokinase inhibitory activity. Half-maximal stimulation of inhibition of APC occurs at about 2 mU/ml and maximal stimulation (approximately 10-fold increase of the pseudo-first-order rate constant) at greater than or equal to 50 mU/ml of heparin. This is the first demonstration of competition between APC and urokinase for a heparin-dependent inhibitor. These results may therefore represent a new link between the two major antithrombotic pathways, the PC pathway and the fibrinolytic system.