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J Biol Chem. 1993 Dec 15;268(35):26796-804.

Thrombin-induced phosphorylation and activation of Ca(2+)-sensitive cytosolic phospholipase A2 in human platelets.

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  • 1Lilly Research Laboratories, Indianapolis, Indiana 46285.


Receptor-mediated activation of human platelets by thrombin initiates a series of rapid biochemical events that include activation of phospholipase A2 to liberate arachidonic acid for further conversion to thromboxane A2. The identity of the phospholipase A2 involved has not been clear. Here we show by immunochemical analysis that human platelets contain significant amounts (60 ng/10(9) platelets) of the recently identified Ca(2+)-sensitive cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2). Metabolic labeling of human platelets with 33Pi revealed that the extent of phosphorylation of cPLA2 was greatly increased after thrombin treatment. Upon stimulation of platelets with thrombin, cPLA2 exhibits enhanced catalytic activity, as well as a change in its electrophoretic and chromatographic properties compared with cPLA2 in resting platelets. These alterations of cPLA2 are reversed by treatment with phosphatase, demonstrating that they are the consequence of thrombin-stimulated phosphorylation. Thrombin-induced phosphorylation and activation of cPLA2 is rapid (half-maximal by 1 min at 1 unit/10(9) platelets) and dose-dependent. Agonist-induced phosphorylation of cPLA2 is more sensitive to thrombin than the generation of thromboxane A2, suggesting that it may be an early event in the sequence of steps leading to the mobilization and further metabolism of arachidonic acid. By comparing the functional properties of cPLA2 from control versus thrombin-stimulated platelets, we found that while activated cPLA2 exhibits the same Ca2+ requirement and apparent substrate affinity (Km), its catalytic activity (Vmax) is increased compared with control cPLA2. We conclude that 1) cPLA2 is likely to play an important role in agonist-induced mobilization of arachidonic acid and 2) thrombin elicits rapid and full activation of cPLA2 not only by promoting a rise in cytosolic free Ca2+ but also by inducing phosphorylation of cPLA2 thereby improving its catalytic activity.

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