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Blood. 2007 Jun 15;109(12):5242-50. Epub 2007 Mar 8.

Human platelets synthesize and express functional tissue factor.

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  • 1Department of Hematology-Oncology, School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


The source and significance of bloodborne tissue factor (TF) are controversial. TF mRNA, protein, and TF-dependent procoagulant activity (PCA) have been detected in human platelets, but direct evidence of TF synthesis is missing. Nonstimulated monocyte-free platelets from most patients expressed TF mRNA, which was enhanced or induced in all of them after platelet activation. Immunoprecipitation assays revealed TF protein (mainly of a molecular weight [Mr] of approximately 47 kDa, with other bands of approximately 35 and approximately 60 kDa) in nonstimulated platelet membranes, which also increased after activation. This enhancement was concomitant with TF translocation to the plasma membrane, as demonstrated by immunofluorescence-confocal microscopy and biotinylation of membrane proteins. Platelet PCA, assessed by factor Xa (FXa) generation, was induced after activation and was inhibited by 48% and 76% with anti-TF and anti-FVIIa, respectively, but not by intrinsic pathway inhibitors. Platelets incorporated [(35)S]-methionine into TF proteins with Mr of approximately 47 kDa, approximately 35 kDa, and approximately 60 kDa, more intensely after activation. Puromycin but not actinomycin D or DRB (5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole) inhibited TF neosynthesis. Thus, human platelets not only assemble the clotting reactions on their membrane, but also supply their own TF for thrombin generation in a timely and spatially circumscribed process. These observations simplify, unify, and provide a more coherent formulation of the current cell-based model of hemostasis.

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