Abstract 3003

Poster Board II-980

Calmodulin (CaM) is a calcium-sensing protein ubiquitously expressed in every eukaryotic cell type regulating biological processes such as cell proliferation, vesicular fusion, fertilization and apoptosis. CaM antagonists induce apoptosis in various tumor models and inhibit tumor cell invasion and metastasis, thus some of which have been extensively used as anti-cancer agents. Tamoxifen (TMX), a potent antagonist of CaM, has been in the center of management of hormone-sensitive breast cancer, and also represents the best example of chemo-prevention to reduce the incidence of invasive breast cancer. Furthermore, TMX is potentially useful in treatment of other kinds of cancer. However, TMX has some severe side effects, one of which is thrombocytopenia. Up to now, the pathogenesis of thrombocytopenia still remains unclear. In platelets, CaM has been found to bind directly to cytoplasmic domains of several platelet receptors. Incubation of platelets with CaM antagonists impairs the receptors-related platelet function. However, it is still unclear whether CaM antagonists, especially TMX, induce platelet apoptosis. Here, we show that CaM antagonists TMX and N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalene sulfonamide (W7) dose-dependently induce apoptotic events in human platelets, including depolarization of mitochondrial inner transmembrane potential, caspase-3 activation, gelsolin cleavage and phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure. CaM antagonist did not incur platelet activation as detected by P-selectin surface expression and PAC-1 binding. However, ADP- and botrocetin-induced platelet aggregation and platelet adhesion and spreading on von Willebrand factor surface were significantly reduced in platelets pre-treated with CaM antagonist. Therefore, these findings indicate that CaM antagonists induce platelet apoptosis, which suggests a possible pathogenesis of thrombocytopenia in some patients treated with CaM antagonist drugs, and also may present as a novel mechanism for platelet clearance and dysfunction in vivo or in vitro. The elevation of the cytosolic Ca2+ level may involve in the regulation of CaM antagonist-induced platelet apoptosis.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.