• ERp46-αIIbβ3 interactions play a critical role in platelet aggregation and platelet thrombus formation

  • ERp46 reduces disulfide bonds in β3 in the absence of ligand binding.

Although several members of protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) family support thrombosis, other PDI family members with the CXYC motif remain uninvestigated. ERp46 has three CGHC redox-active sites and a radically different molecular architecture than other PDIs. Expression of ERp46 on the platelet surface increased with thrombin stimulation. An anti-ERp46 antibody inhibited platelet aggregation, ATP release, and αIIbβ3 activation. ERp46 protein potentiated αIIbβ3 activation, platelet aggregation and ATP release, while inactive ERp46 inhibited these processes. ERp46-knockout mice had prolonged tail-bleeding times, and decreased platelet accumulation in thrombosis models that was rescued by infusion of ERp46. ERp46-deficient platelets had decreased αIIbβ3 activation, platelet aggregation, ATP release and P-selectin expression. The defects were reversed by wild-type ERp46 and partially reversed by ERp46 containing any of the three active sites. Platelet aggregation stimulated by an αIIbβ3-activating peptide was inhibited by the anti-ERp46 antibody and was decreased in ERp46-deficient platelets. ERp46 bound tightly to αIIbβ3 by surface plasmon resonance but poorly to platelets lacking αIIbβ3, and physically associated with αIIbβ3 upon platelet activation. ERp46 mediated clot retraction and platelet spreading. ERp46 more strongly reduced disulfide bonds in the β3 subunit than other PDIs, and in contrast to PDI generated thiols in β3 independently of fibrinogen. ERp46 cleaved the Cys473-Cys503 disulfide bond in β3 implicating a target for ERp46. Finally, ERp46-deficient platelets have decreased thiols in β3 implying that ERp46 cleaves disulfide bonds in platelets. In conclusion, ERp46 is critical for platelet function and thrombosis and facilitates αIIbβ3 activation by targeting disulfide bonds.

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