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Thrombin, one of the major proteases in the coagulation cascade, activates protease activated receptors 1 and 4 (PAR 1 and PAR4) to generate a network of intracellular signals that lead to stable platelet aggregation. Abnormal platelet activation could lead to either thrombosis or bleeding disorders, thus a predictive model of platelet activation would be an invaluable tool for the study of platelet function. In this work, we developed a computational model of PAR1-stimulated human platelet activation fully based on experimental observations. The model is represented by a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) describing the kinetics of the interacting components. The model is able to reproduce experimental dose responses and time-courses of cytosolic calcium (Ca(2+)), phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), diacylglycerol (DAG), GTP-bound Ras-proximate-1 (Rap1GTP), secretion of dense-granules, and activation of integrin α2bβ3 (GPIIbIIIa). Because of the inherent complexity of such a model, we also provide a simple way to identify and divide the system into interlinked functional modules to reduce the number of unknown parameters. Both the full and the reduced kinetic models are shown to predict platelet behavior in response to PAR1 activation.
Thrombin induces platelet activation through an early, reversible stage of platelet aggregation, which is followed by a later, irreversible stage of platelet aggregation. Without intervention, events leading to pathological platelet activation can result in vessel occlusion, acute coronary syndrome, and stroke. Therefore, a better understanding of events leading to platelet-mediated clot formation may provide insight into new therapeutic targets. Once activated, protease activated receptors (PARs) are essential in regulating events leading to platelet aggregation. We have determined a signaling cascade through PAR1, which involves phosphatidylinositol (PI) kinases, phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP(2)), and Rap1 activation (independent of P2Y12) in the formation of a stable platelet aggregate. The putative phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002 was found to reduce basal and PAR-stimulated PIP(2) levels by mass spectrometry and to inhibit PAR1-mediated stable platelet aggregation. Rap1 activation in platelets (during time points corresponding to the late, irreversible phase of aggregation) was found to require the PI signaling pathway. Perturbation of PI3K signaling by isoform-selective inhibitors had differential effects on Rap1 activation through PAR1 and PAR4. Hence, it is possible to disrupt lipid signaling pathways involved in stable clot formation without inhibiting early clot formation, offering a new potential target for antiplatelet therapy.
Oxidative stress has been strongly implicated in pathological processes. Isoketals are highly reactive gamma-ketoaldehydes of the isoprostanes pathway of free radical-induced peroxidation of arachidonic acid that are analogous to cyclooxygenase-derived levuglandins. Because aldehydes, that are much less reactive than isoketals, have been shown to trigger platelet activation, we investigated the effect of one isoketal (E(2)-IsoK) on platelet aggregation. Isoketal potentiated aggregation and the formation of thromboxane B(2) in platelets challenged with collagen at a concentration as low as 1 nM. Moreover, the potentiating effect of 1 nM isoketal on collagen-induced platelet aggregation was prevented by pyridoxamine, an effective scavenger of gamma-ketoaldehydes. Furthermore, we provide evidence for the involvement of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase in isoketal-mediated platelet priming, suggesting that isoketals may act upstream the activation of collagen-induced cytosolic phospholipase A(2). Additionally, the incubation of platelets with 1 nM isoketal led to the phosphorylation of cytosolic phospholipase A(2). The cytosolic phopholipase A(2) inhibitors AACOCF3 and MAFP both fully prevented the increase in isoketal-mediated platelet aggregation challenged with collagen. These results indicate that isoketals could play an important role in platelet hyperfunction observed in pathological states such as atherosclerosis and thrombosis through the activation of the endogenous arachidonic acid cascade.
The protease thrombin is required for normal hemostasis and pathologic thrombogenesis. Since the mechanism of coagulation factor XI (FXI)-dependent thrombus growth remains unclear, we investigated the contribution of FXI to thrombus formation in a primate thrombosis model. Pretreatment of baboons with a novel anti-human FXI monoclonal antibody (aXIMab; 2 mg/kg) inhibited plasma FXI by at least 99% for 10 days, and suppressed thrombin-antithrombin (TAT) complex and beta-thromboglobulin (betaTG) formation measured immediately downstream from thrombi forming within collagen-coated vascular grafts. FXI inhibition with aXIMab limited platelet and fibrin deposition in 4-mm diameter grafts without an apparent increase in D-dimer release from thrombi, and prevented the occlusion of 2-mm diameter grafts without affecting template bleeding times. In comparison, pretreatment with aspirin (32 mg/kg) prolonged bleeding times but failed to prevent graft occlusion, supporting the concept that FXI blockade may offer therapeutic advantages over other antithrombotic agents in terms of bleeding complications. In whole blood, aXIMab prevented fibrin formation in a collagen-coated flow chamber, independent of factor XII and factor VII. These data suggest that endogenous FXI contributes to arterial thrombus propagation through a striking amplification of thrombin generation at the thrombus luminal surface.
The cell glycocalyx is an attractive model for surface modification of liposomes with the objectives of tissue targeting and prolonged circulation time. Here, we reported on glycocalyx-mimicking liposomes, prepared by incorporating a glycolipid of 3'-sulfo-Lewis a (SuLe(a))-PEG-DSPE with a headgroup of SuLe(a) and a spacer of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) linked to two hydrophobic tails. This PEG spaced structure is used to mimic the extended structure of P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1 (PSGL-1) on activated leukocytes, in order to facilitate the specific binding of liposomes to the receptor of P-selectin expressed on activated platelets. Our results indicate that SuLe(a)-PEG-DSPE can form stable, narrowly distributed liposomes with 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC) and cholesterol, with a vesicle size of 113.3 nm. The resultant SuLe(a)-PEG-liposomes can facilitate their binding to the receptor of P-selectin 22 times higher than SuLe(a)-liposomes without a PEG spacer. Further studies by fluorescence microscopy show that SuLe(a)-PEG-liposomes can bind to activated platelets in vitro effectively. It suggests that biomimetic SuLe(a)-PEG-liposomes may be used as nanocarriers to target activated platelets for drug delivery to the injury sites of cardiovascular diseases.
The plasma coagulation system reacts quickly to limit blood loss from injury sites but also contributes to vascular thrombosis. In current models of hemostatic balance, normal coagulation and thrombosis represent two sides of the same coin, however, recent data from gene-deleted murine models have challenged this dogma. Deficiency of coagulation Factor XII (Hageman factor), a serine protease that initiates the intrinsic pathway of coagulation, severely impairs arterial thrombus formation but is not associated with excessive bleeding. These findings suggest that fibrin-generating mechanisms that operate during pathologic thrombus formation involve pathways distinct from those that are active during normal hemostasis. As Factor XII selectively contributes to thrombus formation in occlusive disease, but not to normal hemostasis, inhibition of this protease may offer a novel treatment strategy for prevention of arterial thrombosis with minimal or no risk of bleeding.
Thrombin potently regulates human platelets by the G protein-coupled receptors protease-activated receptor (PAR) 1 and PAR4. Platelet activation by thrombin and other agonists is broadly inhibited by prostacyclin and nitric oxide acting through adenylyl and guanylyl cyclases to elevate cAMP and cGMP levels, respectively. Using forskolin and YC-1 [3-(5'-hydroxymethyl-2'-furyl)-1-benzylindazole] to selectively activate the adenylyl and guanylyl cyclases, respectively, and the membrane-permeable analogs N(6),2'-O-dibutyryladenosine-3'-5'-cAMP (dibutyryl-cAMP) and 8-(4-parachlorophenylthoi)-cGMP (8-pCPT-cGMP), we sought to identify key antiplatelet steps for cyclic nucleotide actions in blocking platelet activation by PAR1 versus PAR4. Platelet aggregation by PAR1 or PAR4 was inhibited with similar EC(50) of 1.2 to 2.1 microM forskolin, 31 to 33 microM YC-1, 57 to 150 microM dibutyryl-cAMP, and 220 to 410 microM 8-pCPT-cGMP. There was a marked left shift in the inhibitory potencies of forskolin and YC-1 for alpha-granule release and glycoprotein IIbIIIa/integrin alphaIIbbeta3 activation (i.e., EC(50) of 1-60 and 40-1300 nM, respectively) that was not observed for dibutyryl-cAMP and 8-pCPT-cGMP (i.e., EC(50) of 200-600 and 40-140 microM, respectively). This inhibition was essentially instantaneous, and measurements of cyclic nucleotide levels and kinase activities support a model of compartmentation involving the cyclic nucleotide effectors and regulators and the key molecular targets for this platelet inhibition. The different sensitivities of PAR1 and PAR4 to inhibition of calcium mobilization and dense granule release identify key antiplatelet steps for cyclic nucleotide actions and are consistent with the signaling models for these receptors. Specifically, PAR4 inhibition depends on the regulation of both calcium mobilization and dense granule release, and PAR1 inhibition depends predominantly on the regulation of dense granule release.
The plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase (PMCA) plays an essential role in maintaining low cytosolic Ca(2+) in resting platelets. Earlier studies demonstrated that the 4b isoform of PMCA interacts via its C-terminal end with the PDZ domains of membrane-associated guanylate kinase proteins. Activation of saponin-permeabilized platelets in the presence of a peptide composed of the last ten residues of the PMCA4b C-terminus leads to a significant decrease of PMCA associated with the cytoskeleton, suggesting that PDZ domain interactions play a role in tethering the pump to the cytoskeleton. Here we present experiments conducted to evaluate the mechanism of this association. Co-immunoprecipitation assays coupled with liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry analysis and immunoblotting were used to identify proteins that interact with PMCA in the resting platelet. Our results indicate that the only PDZ domain-containing protein associated with PMCA is the LIM family protein, CLP36. Glutathione-S-transferase pull-down from a platelet extract using a fusion protein containing the C-terminal PDZ domain binding motif of PMCA confirmed binding of CLP36 to PMCA. Gel filtration chromatography of detergent-solubilized platelets demonstrated the existence of a 1,000-kDa complex containing PMCA and CLP36, and in addition, alpha-actinin and actin. Immunoflourescence microscopy confirmed the co-localization of PMCA with CLP36 in resting and activated platelets. Taken together these results suggest that PMCA is localized in non-filamentous actin complexes in resting platelets by means of PDZ domain interactions and then associates with the actin cytoskeleton during cytoskeletal rearrangement upon platelet activation. Thus, in addition to the reversible serine/threonine and tyrosine phosphorylation events previously described in human platelets, PMCA function may be regulated by interactions with anchoring and cytoskeletal proteins.
Thrombin-mediated activation of platelets is critical for hemostasis, but the signaling pathways responsible for this process are not completely understood. In addition, signaling within this cascade can also lead to thrombosis. In this study, we have defined a new signaling pathway for the thrombin receptor protease activated receptor-1 (PAR1) in human platelets. We show that PAR1 couples to G(i/o) in human platelets and activates phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K). PI3K activation regulates platelet integrin alphaIIbbeta3 activation and platelet aggregation and potentiates the PAR1-mediated increase in intraplatelet calcium concentration. PI3K inhibitors eliminated these effects downstream of PAR1, but they had no effect on PAR4 signaling. This study has identified an important role for the direct activation of G(i/o) by PAR1 in human platelets. Given the efficacy of clopidogrel, which blocks the G(i/o)-coupled P2Y purinoceptor 12, as an antiplatelet/antithrombotic drug, our data suggest that specifically blocking only PAR1-mediated G(i/o) signaling could also be an effective therapeutic approach with the possibility of less unwanted bleeding.
Pathological conditions such as coronary artery disease are clinically controlled via therapeutic regulation of platelet activity. Thrombin, through protease-activated receptor (PAR) 1 and PAR4, plays a central role in regulation of human platelet function in that it is known to be the most potent activator of human platelets. Currently, direct thrombin inhibitors used to block platelet activation result in unwanted side effects of excessive bleeding. An alternative therapeutic strategy would be to inhibit PAR-mediated intracellular platelet signaling pathways. To elucidate the best target, we are studying differences between the two platelet thrombin receptors, PAR1 and PAR4, in mediating thrombin's action. In this study, we show that platelet activation by PAR1-activating peptide (PAR1-AP) requires a phospholipase D (PLD)-mediated phosphatidic acid (PA) signaling pathway. We show that this PAR1-specific PA-mediated effect is not regulated through differential granule secretion after PAR-induced platelet activation. Perturbation of this signaling pathway via inhibition of lipid phosphate phosphatase-1 (LPP-1) by propranolol or inhibition of the phosphatidylcholine-derived phosphatidic acid (PA) formation by PLD with a primary alcohol significantly attenuated platelet activation by PAR1-AP. Platelet activation by thrombin or PAR4-AP was insensitive to these inhibitors. Furthermore, these inhibitors significantly attenuated activation of Rap1 after stimulation by PAR1-AP but not thrombin or PAR4-AP. Because PA metabolites such as diacylglycerol play an important role in intracellular signaling, identifying crucial differences in PA regulation of PAR-induced platelet activation may lead to a greater understanding of the role of PAR1 versus PAR4 in progression of thrombosis.