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Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2009 Sep;16(9):961-6. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.1651. Epub 2009 Aug 9.

Existence of a microRNA pathway in anucleate platelets.

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Centre de Recherche en Rhumatologie et Immunologie, CHUL Research Center/CHUQ, and Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Quebec, Quebec, Canada.


Platelets have a crucial role in the maintenance of hemostasis as well as in thrombosis and vessel occlusion, which underlie stroke and acute coronary syndromes. Anucleate platelets contain mRNAs and are capable of protein synthesis, raising the issue of how these mRNAs are regulated. Here we show that human platelets harbor an abundant and diverse array of microRNAs (miRNAs), which are known as key regulators of mRNA translation in other cell types. Further analyses revealed that platelets contain the Dicer and Argonaute 2 (Ago2) complexes, which function in the processing of exogenous miRNA precursors and the control of specific reporter transcripts, respectively. Detection of the receptor P2Y(12) mRNA in Ago2 immunoprecipitates suggests that P2Y(12) expression may be subjected to miRNA control in human platelets. Our study lends an additional level of complexity to the control of gene expression in these anucleate elements of the cardiovascular system.

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