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Blood. 2015 Jul 23;126(4):520-30. doi: 10.1182/blood-2014-09-601484. Epub 2015 May 11.

Regulation of actin polymerization by tropomodulin-3 controls megakaryocyte actin organization and platelet biogenesis.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA;
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Yale Stem Cell Center, and.
Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.


The actin cytoskeleton is important for platelet biogenesis. Tropomodulin-3 (Tmod3), the only Tmod isoform detected in platelets and megakaryocytes (MKs), caps actin filament (F-actin) pointed ends and binds tropomyosins (TMs), regulating actin polymerization and stability. To determine the function of Tmod3 in platelet biogenesis, we studied Tmod3(-/-) embryos, which are embryonic lethal by E18.5. Tmod3(-/-) embryos often show hemorrhaging at E14.5 with fewer and larger platelets, indicating impaired platelet biogenesis. MK numbers are moderately increased in Tmod3(-/-) fetal livers, with only a slight increase in the 8N population, suggesting that MK differentiation is not significantly affected. However, Tmod3(-/-) MKs fail to develop a normal demarcation membrane system (DMS), and cytoplasmic organelle distribution is abnormal. Moreover, cultured Tmod3(-/-) MKs exhibit impaired proplatelet formation with a wide range of proplatelet bud sizes, including abnormally large proplatelet buds containing incorrect numbers of von Willebrand factor-positive granules. Tmod3(-/-) MKs exhibit F-actin disturbances, and Tmod3(-/-) MKs spreading on collagen fail to polymerize F-actin into actomyosin contractile bundles. Tmod3 associates with TM4 and the F-actin cytoskeleton in wild-type MKs, and confocal microscopy reveals that Tmod3, TM4, and F-actin partially colocalize near the membrane of proplatelet buds. In contrast, the abnormally large proplatelets from Tmod3(-/-) MKs show increased F-actin and redistribution of F-actin and TM4 from the cortex to the cytoplasm, but normal microtubule coil organization. We conclude that F-actin capping by Tmod3 regulates F-actin organization in mouse fetal liver-derived MKs, thereby controlling MK cytoplasmic morphogenesis, including DMS formation and organelle distribution, as well as proplatelet formation and sizing.

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