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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2008 Mar;28(3):s17-24. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.107.160218.

Signal-dependent protein synthesis by activated platelets: new pathways to altered phenotype and function.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.


New biologic activities of platelets continue to be discovered, indicating that concepts of platelet function in hemostasis, thrombosis, and inflammation require reconsideration as new paradigms evolve. Studies done over 3 decades ago demonstrated that mature circulating platelets have protein synthetic capacity, but it was thought to be low level and inconsequential. In contrast, recent discoveries demonstrate that platelets synthesize protein products with important biologic activities in a rapid and sustained fashion in response to cellular activation. This process, termed signal-dependent translation, uses a constitutive transcriptome and specialized pathways, and can alter platelet phenotype and functions in a fashion that can have clinical relevance. Signal-dependent translation and consequent protein synthesis are examples of a diverse group of posttranscriptural mechanisms in activated platelets that are now being revealed.

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