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Eur J Biochem. 1987 Sep 15;167(3):441-8.

Vasodilator-stimulated protein phosphorylation in platelets is mediated by cAMP- and cGMP-dependent protein kinases.

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Physiologisch-Chemisches Institut, Universit├Ąt W├╝rzburg, Federal Republic of Germany.


Vasodilators such as sodium nitroprusside, nitroglycerin and various prostaglandins are capable of inhibiting platelet aggregation associated with an increase of either cGMP or cAMP. In our studies with intact platelets, prostaglandin E1 and sodium nitroprusside stimulated the phosphorylation of several proteins which could be distinguished from proteins known to be phosphorylated by a calmodulin-regulated protein kinase or by protein kinase C. Prostaglandin E1 (10 microM) or dibutyryl cAMP (2 mM) stimulated the phosphorylation of proteins with apparent relative molecular masses, Mr, of 240,000, 68,000, 50,000, and 22,000 in intact platelets. These proteins were also phosphorylated in response to low concentrations (1-2 microM) of cAMP in a particulate fraction of platelets. In intact platelets, sodium nitroprusside (100 microM) and the 8-bromo derivative of cGMP (2 mM) increased the phosphorylation of one protein of Mr 50,000 which was also phosphorylated in response to low concentrations (1-2 microM) of cGMP in platelet membranes. An additional protein (Mr 24,000) appeared to be phosphorylated to a lesser degree in intact platelets by prostaglandin E1 and sodium nitroprusside. Since the phosphorylation of the protein of Mr 50,000 was stimulated both in intact platelets by cyclic-nucleotide-elevating agents and cyclic nucleotide analogs, as well as in platelet membranes by cyclic nucleotides, this phosphoprotein was analyzed by limited proteolysis, tryptic fingerprinting and phosphoamino acid analysis. These experiments indicated that the 50-kDa proteins phosphorylated by sodium nitroprusside and prostaglandin E1 were identical, and that the peptide of the 50-kDa protein phosphorylated by both agents was also the same as the peptide derived from the 50-kDa protein phosphorylated in platelet membranes by cGMP- and cAMP-dependent protein kinases, respectively. Regulation of protein phosphorylation mediated by cAMP- and cGMP-dependent protein kinases may be the molecular mechanism by which those vasodilators, capable of increasing either cAMP or cGMP, inhibit platelet aggregation.

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