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Blood. 2012 Apr 19;119(16):3799-807. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-11-390369. Epub 2012 Jan 10.

Regulator of G-protein signaling 18 integrates activating and inhibitory signaling in platelets.

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Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Ireland.


Regulator of G-protein signaling 18 (RGS18) is a GTPase-activating protein for the G-α-q and G-α-i subunits of heterotrimeric G-proteins that turns off signaling by G-protein coupled receptors. RGS18 is highly expressed in platelets. In the present study, we show that the 14-3-3γ protein binds to phosphorylated serines 49 and 218 of RGS18. Platelet activation by thrombin, thromboxane A2, or ADP stimulates the association of 14-3-3 and RGS18, probably by increasing the phosphorylation of serine 49. In contrast, treatment of platelets with prostacyclin and nitric oxide, which trigger inhibitory cyclic nucleotide signaling involving cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) and cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase I (PKGI), induces the phosphorylation of serine 216 of RGS18 and the detachment of 14-3-3. Serine 216 phosphorylation is able to block 14-3-3 binding to RGS18 even in the presence of thrombin, thromboxane A2, or ADP. 14-3-3-deficient RGS18 is more active compared with 14-3-3-bound RGS18, leading to a more pronounced inhibition of thrombin-induced release of calcium ions from intracellular stores. Therefore, PKA- and PKGI-mediated detachment of 14-3-3 activates RGS18 to block Gq-dependent calcium signaling. These findings indicate cross-talk between platelet activation and inhibition pathways at the level of RGS18 and Gq.

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