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Blood. 2005 Sep 1;106(5):1604-11. Epub 2005 Mar 1.

Tissue-factor-bearing microvesicles arise from lipid rafts and fuse with activated platelets to initiate coagulation.

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  • 1Thrombosis Research Section, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, N-1317, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Tissue factor (TF) circulates in plasma, largely on monocyte/macrophage-derived microvesicles that can bind activated platelets through a mechanism involving P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1) on the microvesicles and P-selectin on the platelets. We found these microvesicles to be selectively enriched in both TF and PSGL-1, and deficient in CD45, suggesting that they arise from distinct membrane microdomains. We investigated the possibility that microvesicles arise from cholesterol-rich lipid rafts and found that both TF and PSGL-1, but not CD45, localize to lipid rafts in blood monocytes and in the monocytic cell line THP-1. Consistent with a raft origin of TF-bearing microvesicles, their shedding was significantly reduced with depletion of membrane cholesterol. We also evaluated the interaction between TF-bearing microvesicles and platelets. Microvesicles bound only activated platelets, and required PSGL-1 to do so. The microvesicles not only bound the activated platelets, they fused with them, transferring both proteins and lipid to the platelet membrane. Fusion was blocked by either annexin V or an antibody to PSGL-1 and had an important functional consequence: increasing the proteolytic activity of the TF-VIIa complex. These findings suggest a mechanism by which all of the membrane-bound reactions of the coagulation system can be localized to the surface of activated platelets.

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