LDHA regulates protein synthesis during MK maturation and proplatelet formation by directly binding to eEF2 in an NADH-dependent manner.
Targeting LDHA with stiripentol significantly promotes the production of platelets in the immune thrombocytopenia model.
Translation is essential for megakaryocyte (MK) maturation and platelet production. However, how the translational pathways are regulated in this process remains unknown. In this study, we found that MK/platelet–specific lactate dehydrogenase A (LdhA) knockout mice exhibited an increased number of platelets with remarkably accelerated MK maturation and proplatelet formation. Interestingly, the role of LDHA in MK maturation and platelet formation did not depend on lactate content, which was the major product of LDHA. Mechanism studies revealed that LDHA interacted with eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2) in the cytoplasm, controlling the participation of eEF2 in translation at the ribosome. Furthermore, the interaction of LDHA and eEF2 was dependent on nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), a coenzyme of LDHA. NADH-competitive inhibitors of LDHA could release eEF2 from the LDHA pool, upregulate translation, and enhance MK maturation in vitro. Among LDHA inhibitors, stiripentol significantly promoted the production of platelets in vivo under a physiological state and in the immune thrombocytopenia model. Moreover, stiripentol could promote platelet production from human cord blood mononuclear cell–derived MKs and also have a superposed effect with romiplostim. In short, this study shows a novel nonclassical function of LDHA in translation that may serve as a potential target for thrombocytopenia therapy.