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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2004 Aug;58(4):242-52.

Vinculin is proteolyzed by calpain during platelet aggregation: 95 kDa cleavage fragment associates with the platelet cytoskeleton.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


The focal adhesion protein vinculin contributes to cell attachment and spreading through strengthening of mechanical interactions between cell cytoskeletal proteins and surface membrane glycoproteins. To investigate whether vinculin proteolysis plays a role in the influence vinculin exerts on the cytoskeleton, we studied the fate of vinculin in activated and aggregating platelets by Western blot analysis of the platelet lysate and the cytoskeletal fractions of differentially activated platelets. Vinculin was proteolyzed into at least three fragments (the major one being approximately 95 kDa) within 5 min of platelet activation with thrombin or calcium ionophore. The 95 kDa vinculin fragment shifted cellular compartments from the membrane skeletal fraction to the cortical cytoskeletal fraction of lysed platelets in a platelet aggregation-dependent manner. Vinculin cleavage was inhibited by calpeptin and E64d, indicating that the enzyme responsible for vinculin proteolysis is calpain. These calpain inhibitors also inhibited the translocation of full-length vinculin to the cytoskeleton. We conclude that cleavage of vinculin and association of vinculin cleavage fragment(s) with the platelet cytoskeleton is an activation response that may be important in the cytoskeletal remodeling of aggregating platelets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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