Send to

Choose Destination
Thromb Haemost. 1993 Dec 20;70(6):884-93.

The platelet cytoskeleton.

Author information

Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, CA 94609.


The platelet cytoskeleton contains two actin filament-based components. One is the cytoplasmic actin filaments which fill the cytoplasm and mediate contractile events. The other is the membrane skeleton, which coats the plasma membrane and regulates properties of the membrane such as its contours and stability. In the unstimulated platelet, only 30-40% of the actin is polymerized into filaments; the rest is thought to be prevented from polymerizing by the association of thymosin beta 4 with monomeric actin and by the association of gelsolin with the barbed ends of pre-existing actin filaments. When platelets are activated, there is a rapid increase in actin polymerization; new filaments fill the extending filopodia and form a network at the periphery of the platelet. As a result of activation, myosin binds to cytoplasmic actin filaments, causing them to move towards the center of the platelet. As platelets aggregate, additional cytoskeletal reorganizations occur: GP IIb-IIIa associates with adhesive ligand in a platelet aggregate; this results in the association of GP IIb-IIIa, membrane skeleton proteins, and signaling molecules with cytoplasmic actin. Future studies should help to elucidate the significance of the cytoskeleton in regulating signal transduction events in platelets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center