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Thromb Haemost. 2007 Nov;98(5):1081-7.

Platelet tetraspanin complexes and their association with lipid rafts.

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Department of Pediatrics and the Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Mannitoba, Canada.


Tetraspanins are a superfamily of integral membrane proteins that facilitate the organization of membrane and intracellular signaling molecules into dynamic signaling microdomains, tetraspanin-enriched microdomains (TEMs). Four tetraspanin family members have been identified in platelets: CD9, CD151 and TSSC6, which are constitutively associated with alphaIIbbeta3, and CD63, which is present on granule membranes in resting platelets and associates with alphaIIbbeta3-CD9 following platelet activation. CD63 and CD9 associate with a type II phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase, PI4K55, in both resting and activated platelets. Immunoelectron microscopic studies showed co-localization of CD63 and PI4K55 on internal membranes of resting platelets and on the filopodia of thrombin-activated platelets. Because TEMs in malignant cell lines appear to be distinct from prototypic lipid rafts, this study examined whether CD63-PI4K55 and CD9-PI4K55 complexes were resident in platelet-lipid rafts, or formed distinct microdomains. CD63, CD9 and PI4K55 were recovered from low-density membrane fractions (LDMFs) of sucrose gradients following platelet lysis in Brij 35, but unlike lipid-raft proteins were not insoluble in Triton X-100, being absent from LDMFs of platelets lysed with Triton. Incubation of platelets with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin, to deplete cholesterol and disrupt lipid rafts, shifted the complexes to higher density sucrose gradient fractions, but did not disrupt the tetraspanin-PI4K55 complexes. These results demonstrate that tetraspanin complexes in platelets form cholesterol-associated microdomains that are distinct from lipid rafts. It is probable that TEMs and lipid rafts associate under certain conditions, resulting in the close proximity of distinct sets of signaling molecules, facilitating signal transduction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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