Key Points

  • SEC22B interacts with a region of NBEAL2 where 2 missense variants associated with gray platelet syndrome have been identified.

  • Knockout of SEC22B or NBEAL2 expression in megakaryocytic cells results in failure of α-granule biogenesis.

Studies of inherited platelet disorders have provided many insights into platelet development and function. Loss of function of neurobeachin-like 2 (NBEAL2) causes Gray Platelet Syndrome (GPS), where the absence of platelet α-granules indicates NBEAL2 is required for their production by precursor megakaryocytes. The endoplasmic reticulum is a dynamic network that interacts with numerous intracellular vesicles and organelles and plays key roles in their development. The megakaryocyte endoplasmic reticulum is very extensive, and in this study we investigated its role in the biogenesis of α-granules by focusing on the membrane-resident trafficking protein SEC22B. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments using tagged proteins expressed in human HEK293 and megakaryocytic imMKCL cells established binding of NBEAL2 with SEC22B, and demonstrated that NBEAL2 can simultaneously bind SEC22B and P-selectin. NBEAL2-SEC22B binding was also observed for endogenous proteins in human megakaryocytes using co-immunoprecipitation, and immunofluorescence microscopy detected substantial overlap. SEC22B binding was localized to a region of NBEAL2 spanning amino acids 1798-1903, where two GPS-associated missense variants have been reported: E1833K and R1839C. NBEAL2 containing either variant did not bind SEC22B co-expressed in HEK292 cells. CRISPR/Cas9 mediated knockout of SEC22B in imMKCL cells resulted in decreased NBEAL2, but not vice versa. Loss of either SEC22B or NBEAL2 expression also resulted in failure of α-granule production and reduced granule proteins in imMKCL cells. We conclude that SEC22B is required for α-granule biogenesis in megakaryocytes, and that interactions with SEC22B and P-selectin facilitate the essential role of NBEAL2 in granule development and cargo stability.

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