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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Dec 15;106(50):21167-72. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0906436106. Epub 2009 Nov 25.

Molecular priming of Lyn by GPVI enables an immune receptor to adopt a hemostatic role.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Division of Hematology, Institute for Medicine and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The immune receptor signaling pathway is used by nonimmune cells, but the molecular adaptations that underlie its functional diversification are not known. Circulating platelets use the immune receptor homologue glycoprotein VI (GPVI) to respond to collagen exposed at sites of vessel injury. In contrast to immune cell responses, platelet activation must take place within seconds to successfully form thrombi in flowing blood. Here, we show that the GPVI receptor utilizes a unique intracellular proline-rich domain (PRD) to accelerate platelet activation, a requirement for efficient platelet adhesion to collagen under flow. The GPVI PRD specifically binds the Src-family kinase Lyn and directly activates it, presumably through SH3 displacement. In resting platelets, Lyn is constitutively bound to GPVI in an activated state and platelets lacking Lyn exhibit defective collagen adhesion like that of platelets with GPVI receptors lacking the PRD. These findings define a molecular priming mechanism that enables an immune-type receptor to adopt a hemostatic function. These studies also demonstrate that active kinases can constitutively associate with immune-type receptors without initiating signal transduction before receptor ligation, consistent with a recent molecular model of immune receptor signaling in which receptor ligation is required to bring active kinases to their receptor substrates.

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