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Platelets are anuclear cell fragments derived from bone marrow megakaryocytes (MKs) that safeguard vascular integrity but may also cause pathological vessel occlusion. One major pathway of platelet activation is triggered by 2 receptors that signal through an (hem)immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM), the activating collagen receptor glycoprotein (GP) VI and the C-type lectin-like receptor 2 (CLEC-2). Growth factor receptor-bound protein 2 (Grb2) is a ubiquitously expressed adapter molecule involved in signaling processes of numerous receptors in different cell types, but its function in platelets and MKs is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that Grb2 is a crucial adapter protein in (hem)immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif signaling in platelets. Here, we show that genetic ablation of Grb2 in MKs and platelets did not interfere with MK differentiation or platelet production. However, Grb2-deficiency severely impaired glycoprotein VI-mediated platelet activation because of defective stabilization of the linker of activated T-cell (LAT) signalosome and activation of downstream signaling proteins that resulted in reduced adhesion, aggregation, and coagulant activity on collagen in vitro. Similarly, CLEC-2-mediated signaling was impaired in Grb2-deficient platelets, whereas the cells responded normally to stimulation of G protein-coupled receptors. In vivo, this selective (hem)immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif signaling defect resulted in prolonged bleeding times but affected arterial thrombus formation only after concomitant treatment with acetylsalicylic acid, indicating that defective glycoprotein VI signaling in the absence of Grb2 can be compensated through thromboxane A2-induced G protein-coupled receptor signaling pathways. These results reveal an important contribution of Grb2 in (hem)immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif signaling in platelets in hemostasis and thrombosis by stabilizing the LAT signalosome.


Sebastian Dütting, Timo Vögtle, Martina Morowski, Sarah Schiessl, Carmen M Schäfer, Stephanie K Watson, Craig E Hughes, Jochen A Ackermann, Daniel Radtke, Heike M Hermanns, Steve P Watson, Lars Nitschke, Bernhard Nieswandt. Growth factor receptor-bound protein 2 contributes to (hem)immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif-mediated signaling in platelets. Circulation research. 2014 Jan 31;114(3):444-453

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PMID: 24265393

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