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J Exp Med. 2006 Oct 30;203(11):2433-40. Epub 2006 Oct 23.

Signal-dependent splicing of tissue factor pre-mRNA modulates the thrombogenicity of human platelets.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.


Tissue factor (TF) is an essential cofactor for the activation of blood coagulation in vivo. We now report that quiescent human platelets express TF pre-mRNA and, in response to activation, splice this intronic-rich message into mature mRNA. Splicing of TF pre-mRNA is associated with increased TF protein expression, procoagulant activity, and accelerated formation of clots. Pre-mRNA splicing is controlled by Cdc2-like kinase (Clk)1, and interruption of Clk1 signaling prevents TF from accumulating in activated platelets. Elevated intravascular TF has been reported in a variety of prothrombotic diseases, but there is debate as to whether anucleate platelets-the key cellular effector of thrombosis-express TF. Our studies demonstrate that human platelets use Clk1-dependent splicing pathways to generate TF protein in response to cellular activation. We propose that platelet-derived TF contributes to the propagation and stabilization of a thrombus.

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