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J Biol Chem. 2004 Jul 16;279(29):30697-706. Epub 2004 May 6.

Platelet factor XIII and calpain negatively regulate integrin alphaIIbbeta3 adhesive function and thrombus growth.

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  • 1Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, Department of Medicine, Monash Medical School, Box Hill Hospital, Box Hill, Victoria 3128, Australia.


Excessive accumulation of platelets at sites of athero-sclerotic plaque rupture leads to the development of arterial thrombi, precipitating clinical events such as the acute coronary syndromes and ischemic stroke. The major platelet adhesion receptor glycoprotein (GP) IIb-IIIa (integrin alpha(IIb)beta3) plays a central role in this process by promoting platelet aggregation and thrombus formation. We demonstrate here a novel mechanism down-regulating integrin alpha(IIb)beta3 adhesive function, involving platelet factor XIII (FXIII) and calpain, which serves to limit platelet aggregate formation and thrombus growth. This mechanism principally occurs in collagen-adherent platelets and is induced by prolonged elevations in cytosolic calcium, leading to dramatic changes in platelet morphology (membrane contraction, fragmentation, and microvesiculation) and a specific reduction in integrin alpha(IIb)beta3 adhesive function. Adhesion receptor signal transduction plays a major role in the process by sustaining cytosolic calcium flux necessary for calpain and FXIII activation. Analysis of thrombus formation on a type I fibrillar collagen substrate revealed an important role for FXIII and calpain in limiting platelet recruitment into developing aggregates, thereby leading to reduced thrombus formation. These studies define a previously unidentified role for platelet FXIII and calpain in regulating integrin alpha(IIb)beta3 adhesive function. Moreover, they demonstrate the existence of an autoregulatory feedback mechanism that serves to limit excessive platelet accumulation on highly reactive thrombogenic surfaces.

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