Glycoprotein VI (GPVI) is the primary platelet receptor for collagen signaling. Following damage to the vascular endothelium, the GPVI receptor interacts with the exposed sub-endothelial collagen. This interaction initiates a signaling cascade involving phosphorylation of the dual ITAM motif of the FcRγ chain by Fyn and Lyn, followed by the recruitment, phosphorylation and activation of Syk. This leads to the eventual activation of PLCγ2 and the release of calcium from intracellular stores to cause platelet activation. While a lot is known about the activation processes involved in GPVI signaling less is known about its negative regulation. The T-cell ubiquitin ligand (TULA) family of proteins has been implicated in the negative regulation protein tyrosine kinase (PTK)-dependent signaling pathways. More recently, it has been shown the TULA family member, TULA-2, exhibits phosphatase activity towards PTKs, including Syk, and this activity is responsible for the negative regulation of T-cell receptor signaling (Mikhailik et. al. 2007, Agrawal et. al. 2008). Thus, we investigated the role of TULA-2 in the negative regulation of the GPVI signaling cascade. We show that TULA-2 is expressed in both human and murine platelets. Deletion of TULA-2 in murine platelets manifests itself functionally as enhanced aggregation in response to the GPVI agonist convulxin as well as enhanced dense granule secretion when compared to wild type platelets. No difference was witnessed in response to the PAR4 agonist AYPGKF. TULA-2-deficient platelets also exhibit sustained hyperphosphorylation of Syk at tyrosines 525 and 526 as well as hyperphosphorylation of PLCγ2 at tyrosines 753 and 759, indicative of enhanced kinase and phospholipase activity respectively. GST-pulldown experiments suggest that Syk and TULA- 2 are able to associate in resting and convulxin stimulated platelets and in-vitro phosphatase assays demonstrate that TULA-2 can dephosphorylate Syk at tyrosines 525 and 526. Taken together, these data suggest that TULA-2 is a negative regulator of GPVI signaling and this regulation is mediated by an association of TULA-2 with Syk, allowing the dephosphorylation of Syk at catalytically important tyrosine residues.

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