In a recent study of the role of detergent-insoluble platelet membrane microdomains (lipid rafts) in the assembly of the factor X (FX) activating complex, we have shown, contrary to expectations, that the formation of lipid rafts after incubation of platelets with the thrombin receptor activation peptide (SFLLRN, 25 μM, for 30 min) results in the down-regulation, rather than assembly, of the enzyme-cofactor-substrate complex by sequestering FVIIIa and FX in rafts and separating them from FIXa, which is excluded from raft fractions isolated by sucrose density gradient centrifugation of triton X-100 (0.25%) solubilized platelets. Since the FX-activating complex is assembled rapidly on platelets after incubation with low concentrations of either thrombin (>1 nM) or SFLLRN (25 μM), we have now examined the kinetics of FX-activation complex assembly at early time points after exposure of platelets to agonists. Washed and gel-filtered human platelets, activated with SFLLRN (25 μM) in the presence of FVIIIa (5 U/ml, 1.5 nM) and FX (125 nM) rapidly (within 2 min) developed the capacity to support maximal rates of FIXa (1 nM) catalyzed FX activation that was transient and decayed to baseline within 5 min after exposure to agonist. At these early time points (0.5, 1 and 2 min), platelets activated with SFLLRN (25 μM) in the presence of 125I-labled FVIIIa (nM), FIXa (nM) or FX (nM) and analyzed by sucrose density gradient centrifugation after solubilization in triton X-100 (0.25%) were shown to sequester within the raft fractions ~15% of FIXa, ~15% of FVIIIa and ~15% of FX, whereas at later time points (5–30 min) only FVIIIa (~25%) and FX (~45%) were localized in rafts, from which FIXa was completely excluded. These results strongly suggest that platelet membrane microdomains (lipid rafts) form rapidly after exposure of platelets to PAR-1 agonists to colocalize the enzyme-cofactor-substrate complex, which is transient since at later time points FIXa dissociates from rafts that sequester the FVIIIa-FX complex to down-regulate FX activation.

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