We have previously described a patient with platelet phospholipase C (PLC)-β2 deficiency characterized by impaired platelet responses to activation with multiple G-protein coupled receptor agonists. The PLC-β2 coding sequence was normal and platelet PLC-β2 mRNA levels were decreased in the patient (

). Very little is currently known regarding the transcriptional regulation of PLC-β2. PCR-amplification of patient leukocyte DNA and sequencing of the PLC-β2 5′-upstream region revealed a heterozygous 13-bp deletion (−1645 to −1633 bp from ATG) that encompasses a consensus binding site (GGGAATTCCC) for nuclear factor-κB, NF-κB. This deletion was present in the propositus and her affected son, but not in control subjects. PCR amplification of region −1791 to −1606 bp of genomic DNA revealed one band in 5 control subjects (size ~186 bp) on agarose gel electrophoresis but 2 bands in the patient and her son, consistent with a heterozygous defect. Luciferase reporter gene studies were performed in human erythroleukemia (HEL) cells treated with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA, 30 nM) to induce megakaryocytic transformation. Genomic fragment (−1648/−23 nt) of PLC-β2 5′-upstream sequence and its truncated form without the 13 nt region (−1633/−23 nt) were inserted upstream of luciferase gene in a promoterless expression vector PGL3-basic (Promega) and transiently transfected into HEL cells. Truncation of the wild-type −1648/−23 fragment at 1631 bp resulted in a consistent decrease in promoter activity by ~ 25% (6 experiments, p<0.05). Protein binding assay (EMSA) was performed using PMA-treated HEL cell nuclear extracts and oligonucleotide probes (−1652/−1628 bp) with wild-type and mutated NF-κB consensus sites. Specific protein binding to the wild-type oligonucleotide was abolished when the NF-κB consensus sequence was deleted or mutated. Protein binding to wild-type probe was not competed by the unlabeled mutant oligonucleotide lacking NF-κB consensus sequence. In supershift assay, antibody targeted against the p65 subunit of NF-κB abolished protein binding, indicating a role for NF-κB. In summary, our studies demonstrate in the 5′-upstream region of PLC-β2 gene of the patient a 13-bp deletion that has a consensus site for NF-κB. Luciferase gene promoter assays demonstrate loss of activity when the 13-bp site is truncated. These studies provide evidence that impaired regulation of PLC-β2 gene by NF-κB may be the basis for the PLC-β2 deficiency in our patient. They show for the first time that PLC-β2, the most abundant β-PLC in platelets, is regulated by NF-κB. These findings are highly relevant because of the important role of PLC-β2 in platelet function, and of NF-κB in megakaryocytic differentiation and atherosclerosis.

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.