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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

SNARE protein degradation upon platelet activation: calpain cleaves SNAP-23.

In order to better understand the molecular mechanisms of platelet granule secretion, we evaluated the effect of activation-induced degranulation on three functional platelet SNARE proteins, SNAP-23, VAMP-3, and syntaxin 4. Initial studies showed that SNAP-23 is lost upon SFLLRN-induced platelet activation. Experiments with permeabilized platelets demonstrated that proteolysis of SNAP-23 was Ca(2+)-dependent. Ca(2+)-dependent proteolysis of SNAP-23 was inhibited by the cell-permeable calpain inhibitors, calpeptin and E-64d, as well as by the naturally occurring calpain inhibitor, calpastatin. In addition, purified calpain cleaved SNAP-23 in permeabilized platelets in a dose-dependent manner. In intact platelets, calpeptin prevented SFLLRN-induced degradation of SNAP-23. In contrast, calpeptin did not prevent SFLLRN-induced degradation of VAMP-3 and syntaxin 4 did not undergo substantial proteolysis following platelet activation. Calpain-induced cleavage of SNAP-23 was a late event occurring between 2.5 and 5 min following exposure of permeabilized platelets to Ca(2+). Experiments evaluating platelet alpha-granule secretion demonstrated that incubation of permeabilized platelets with 10 microM Ca(2+) prior to exposure to ATP inhibited ATP-dependent alpha-granule secretion from permeabilized platelets. SNAP-23 was cleaved under these conditions. Incubation of permeabilized platelets with either calpeptin or calpastatin prevented Ca(2+)- mediated degradation of SNAP-23 and reversed Ca(2+)-mediated inhibition of ATP-dependent alpha-granule secretion. Thus, activation of calpain prior to secretion results in loss of SNAP-23 and inhibits alpha-granule secretion. These studies suggest a mechanism whereby calpain activation serves to localize platelet secretion to areas of thrombus formation.[1]


  1. SNARE protein degradation upon platelet activation: calpain cleaves SNAP-23. Lai, K.C., Flaumenhaft, R. J. Cell. Physiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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