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Cell Biol Int. 1998;22(6):429-35.

Cytoskeletal changes in platelets induced by thrombin and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA).

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Department of Biochemistry, Guangdong Medical College, Zhanjiang, 524023, P.R. China.


Changes in shape, and aggregation that accompanies platelet activation, are dependent on the assembly and reorganization of the cytoskeleton. To assess the changes in cytoskeleton induced by thrombin and PMA, suspensions of aspirin-treated,32P-prelabeled, washed pig platelets in Hepes buffer containing ADP scavengers were activated with thrombin, and with PMA, an activator of protein kinase C. The cytoskeletal fraction was prepared by adding Triton extraction buffer. The Triton-insoluble (cytoskeletal) fraction isolated by centrifugation was analysed by SDS-PAGE and autoradiography. Incorporation of actin into the Triton-insoluble fraction was used to quantify the formation of F-actin. Thrombin-stimulated platelet cytoskeletal composition was different from PMA-stimulated cytoskeletal composition. Thrombin-stimulated platelets contained not only the three major proteins: actin (43 kDa), myosin (200 kDa) and an actin-binding protein (250 kDa), but three additional proteins of Mr56 kDa, 80 kDa and 85 kDa in the cytoskeleton, which were induced in by thrombin dose-response relationship. In contrast, PMA-stimulated platelets only induced actin assembly, and the 56 kDa, 80 kDa and 85 kDa proteins were not found in the cytoskeletal fraction. Exposure of platelets to thrombin or PMA induced phosphorylation of pleckstrin parallel to actin assembly. Staurosporine, an inhibitor of protein kinase C, inhibited actin assembly and platelet aggregation induced by thrombin or PMA, but did not inhibit the incorporation of 56 kDa, 80 kDa and 85 kDa into the cytoskeletal fraction induced by thrombin. These three extra proteins seem to be unrelated to the induction of protein kinase C. We conclude that actin polymerization and platelet aggregation were induced by a mechanism dependent on protein kinase C, and suggest that thrombin-activated platelets aggregation could involve additional cytoskeletal components (56 kDa, 80 kDa, 85 kDa) of the cytoskeleton, which made stronger actin polymerization and platelet aggregation more.

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