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Blood. 2012 Nov 22;120(22):4432-40. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-04-425215. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

NPP4 is a procoagulant enzyme on the surface of vascular endothelium.

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Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


Ap3A is a platelet-dense granule component released into the extracellular space during the second wave of platelet aggregation on activation. Here, we identify an uncharacterized enzyme, nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase-4 (NPP4), as a potent hydrolase of Ap3A capable of stimulating platelet aggregation and secretion. We demonstrate that NPP4 is present on the surface of vascular endothelium, where it hydrolyzes Ap3A into AMP and ADP, and Ap4A into AMP and ATP. Platelet aggregation assays with citrated platelet-rich plasma reveal that the primary and secondary waves of aggregation and dense granule release are strongly induced by nanomolar NPP4 in a concentration-dependent manner in the presence of Ap3A, while Ap3A alone initiates a primary wave of aggregation followed by rapid disaggregation. NPP2 and an active site NPP4 mutant, neither of which appreciably hydrolyzes Ap3A, have no effect on platelet aggregation and secretion. Finally, by using ADP receptor blockade we confirm that NPP4 mediates platelet aggregation via release of ADP from Ap3A and activation of ADP receptors. Collectively, these studies define the biologic and enzymatic basis for NPP4 and Ap3A activity in platelet aggregation in vitro and suggest that NPP4 promotes hemostasis in vivo by augmenting ADP-mediated platelet aggregation at the site of vascular injury.

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