Genetic analysis of the role of protein kinase Ctheta in platelet function and thrombus formation.

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Hall, Kellie J 
Harper, Matthew T 
Gilio, Karen 
Cosemans, Judith M 
Heemskerk, Johan WM 

BACKGROUND: PKCtheta is a novel protein kinase C isozyme, predominately expressed in T cells and platelets. PKCtheta(-/-) T cells exhibit reduced activation and PKCtheta(-/-) mice are resistant to autoimmune disease, making PKCtheta an attractive therapeutic target for immune modulation. Collagen is a major agonist for platelets, operating through an immunoreceptor-like signalling pathway from its receptor GPVI. Although it has recently been shown that PKCtheta positively regulates outside-in signalling through integrin alpha(IIb)beta(3) in platelets, the role of PKCtheta in GPVI-dependent signalling and functional activation of platelets has not been assessed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the present study we assessed static adhesion, cell spreading, granule secretion, integrin alpha(IIb)beta(3) activation and platelet aggregation in washed mouse platelets lacking PKCtheta. Thrombus formation on a collagen-coated surface was assessed in vitro under flow. PKCtheta(-/-) platelets exhibited reduced static adhesion and filopodia generation on fibrinogen, suggesting that PKCtheta positively regulates outside-in signalling, in agreement with a previous report. In contrast, PKCtheta(-/-) platelets also exhibited markedly enhanced GPVI-dependent alpha-granule secretion, although dense granule secretion was unaffected, suggesting that PKCtheta differentially regulates these two granules. Inside-out regulation of alpha(IIb)beta(3) activation was also enhanced downstream of GPVI stimulation. Although this did not result in increased aggregation, importantly thrombus formation on collagen under high shear (1000 s(-1)) was enhanced. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These data suggest that PKCtheta is an important negative regulator of thrombus formation on collagen, potentially mediated by alpha-granule secretion and alpha(IIb)beta(3) activation. PKCtheta therefore may act to restrict thrombus growth, a finding that has important implications for the development and safe clinical use of PKCtheta inhibitors.

Animals, Autoimmune Diseases, Blood Platelets, Collagen, Gene Expression Regulation, Immune System, Isoenzymes, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Models, Biological, Platelet Activation, Platelet Adhesiveness, Platelet Aggregation, Protein Isoforms, Protein Kinase C, Protein Kinase C-theta, Thrombosis
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PLoS One
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Public Library of Science (PLoS)