Visualization of microtubule growth in living platelets reveals a dynamic marginal band with multiple microtubules.
ABSTRACT: The marginal band of microtubules maintains the discoid shape of resting blood platelets. Although studies of platelet microtubule coil structure conclude that it is composed of a single microtubule, no investigations of its dynamics exist. In contrast to previous studies, permeabilized platelets incubated with GTP-rhodamine-tubulin revealed tubulin incorporation at 7.9 (+/- 1.9) points throughout the coil, and anti-EB1 antibodies stained 8.7 (+/- 2.0) sites, indicative of multiple free microtubules. To pursue this result, we expressed the microtubule plus-end marker EB3-GFP in megakaryocytes and examined its behavior in living platelets released from these cells. Time-lapse microscopy of EB3-GFP in resting platelets revealed multiple assembly sites within the coil and a bidirectional pattern of assembly. Consistent with these findings, tyrosinated tubulin, a marker of newly assembled microtubules, localized to resting platelet microtubule coils. These results suggest that the resting platelet marginal band contains multiple highly dynamic microtubules of mixed polarity. Analysis of microtubule coil diameters in newly formed resting platelets indicates that microtubule coil shrinkage occurs with aging. In addition, activated EB3-GFP-expressing platelets exhibited a dramatic increase in polymerizing microtubules, which travel outward and into filopodia. Thus, the dynamic microtubules associated with the marginal band likely function during both resting and activated platelet states.
Project description:Platelets float in the blood as discoid particles. Their shape is maintained by microtubules organized in a ring structure, the so-called marginal band (MB), in the periphery of resting platelets. Platelets are activated after vessel injury and undergo a major shape change known as disc to sphere transition. It has been suggested that actomyosin tension induces the contraction of the MB to a smaller ring. In this paper, we show that antagonistic microtubule motors keep the MB in its resting state. During platelet activation, dynein slides microtubules apart, leading to MB extension rather than contraction. The MB then starts to coil, thereby inducing the spherical shape of activating platelets. Newly polymerizing microtubules within the coiled MB will then take a new path to form the smaller microtubule ring, in concerted action with actomyosin tension. These results present a new view of the platelet activation mechanism and reveal principal mechanistic features underlying cellular shape changes.
Project description:Megakaryocytes are terminally differentiated cells that, in their final hours, convert their cytoplasm into long, branched proplatelets, which remodel into blood platelets. Proplatelets elongate at an average rate of 0.85 microm/min in a microtubule-dependent process. Addition of rhodamine-tubulin to permeabilized proplatelets, immunofluorescence microscopy of the microtubule plus-end marker end-binding protein 3 (EB3), and fluorescence time-lapse microscopy of EB3-green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing megakaryocytes reveal that microtubules, organized as bipolar arrays, continuously polymerize throughout the proplatelet. In immature megakaryocytes lacking proplatelets, microtubule plus-ends initiate and grow by centrosomal nucleation at rates of 8.9 to 12.3 microm/min. In contrast, plus-end growth rates of microtubules within proplatelets are highly variable (1.5-23.5 microm/min) and are both slower and faster than those seen in immature cells. Despite the continuous assembly of microtubules, proplatelets continue to elongate when net microtubule assembly is arrested. One alternative mechanism for force generation is microtubule sliding. Triton X-100-permeabilized proplatelets containing dynein and its regulatory complex, dynactin, but not kinesin, elongate with the addition of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) at a rate of 0.65 microm/min. Retroviral expression in megakaryocytes of dynamitin (p50), which disrupts dynactin-dynein function, inhibits proplatelet elongation. We conclude that while continuous polymerization of microtubules is necessary to support the enlarging proplatelet mass, the sliding of overlapping microtubules is a vital component of proplatelet elongation.
Project description:Several microtubule binding proteins, including CLIP-170 (cytoplasmic linker protein-170), CLIP-115, and EB1 (end-binding protein 1), have been shown to associate specifically with the ends of growing microtubules in non-neuronal cells, thereby regulating microtubule dynamics and the binding of microtubules to protein complexes, organelles, and membranes. When fused to GFP (green fluorescent protein), these proteins, which collectively are called +TIPs (plus end tracking proteins), also serve as powerful markers for visualizing microtubule growth events. Here we demonstrate that endogenous +TIPs are present at distal ends of microtubules in fixed neurons. Using EB3-GFP as a marker of microtubule growth in live cells, we subsequently analyze microtubule dynamics in neurons. Our results indicate that microtubules grow slower in neurons than in glia and COS-1 cells. The average speed and length of EB3-GFP movements are comparable in cell bodies, dendrites, axons, and growth cones. In the proximal region of differentiated dendrites approximately 65% of EB3-GFP movements are directed toward the distal end, whereas 35% are directed toward the cell body. In more distal dendritic regions and in axons most EB3-GFP dots move toward the growth cone. This difference in directionality of EB3-GFP movements in dendrites and axons reflects the highly specific microtubule organization in neurons. Together, these results suggest that local microtubule polymerization contributes to the formation of the microtubule network in all neuronal compartments. We propose that similar mechanisms underlie the specific association of CLIPs and EB1-related proteins with the ends of growing microtubules in non-neuronal and neuronal cells.
Project description:Okadaic acid (OA) and calyculin A (CLA), which are potent and specific inhibitors of serine/threonine protein phosphatases type 1 and 2A, have been shown to induce drastic changes in platelet morphology. The aim of this study was to analyse the molecular mechanisms of OA- or CLA-induced cytoskeletal reorganization, with a specific focus on microtubules and actin filaments. Confocal fluorescence microscopy revealed that OA or CLA altered the distribution of microtubules from marginal band arrangements to homogeneous patterns, consistent with the transmission-electron-microscopic finding that microtubules were fragmented and redistributed into pseudopod-like processes. In thrombin-activated platelets, OA or CLA induced extremely long pseudopods containing an array of microtubules and actin filaments, and a condensed mass of actin filaments in the centre of platelets. OA or CLA induced the constriction of actin filaments without an increase in filamentous (F)-actin, and also rather significantly inhibited actin polymerization in thrombin-activated platelets. Furthermore, neither OA or CLA enhanced phosphorylation of myosin light chain (MLC). By immunoprecipitation of platelet lysate with anti-alpha-tubulin antibody, a 90 kDa protein was co-precipitated with tubulin and was predominantly phosphorylated in the presence of OA. As the time-dependent phosphorylation of 90 kDa protein correlated well with the reorganization of microtubules, these data suggest that phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of this protein might play a role in the regulation of microtubule organization. These findings indicate that OA or CLA induces reorganization of microtubules and actin filaments via the phosphorylation of a microtubule-associated 90 kDa protein and an MLC-phosphorylation-independent mechanism. mechanism.
Project description:During platelet biogenesis, microtubules (MTs) are arranged into submembranous structures (the marginal band) that encircle the cell in a single plane. This unique MT array has no equivalent in any other mammalian cell, and the mechanisms responsible for this particular mode of assembly are not fully understood. One possibility is that platelet MTs are composed of a particular set of tubulin isotypes that carry specific posttranslational modifications. Although β1-tubulin is known to be essential, no equivalent roles of α-tubulin isotypes in platelet formation or function have so far been reported. Here, we identify α4A-tubulin as a predominant α-tubulin isotype in platelets. Similar to β1-tubulin, α4A-tubulin expression is up-regulated during the late stages of megakaryocyte differentiation. Missense mutations in the α4A-tubulin gene cause macrothrombocytopenia in mice and humans. Defects in α4A-tubulin lead to changes in tubulin tyrosination status of the platelet tubulin pool. Ultrastructural defects include reduced numbers and misarranged MT coils in the platelet marginal band. We further observed defects in megakaryocyte maturation and proplatelet formation in <i>Tuba4a</i>-mutant mice. We have, thus, discovered an α-tubulin isotype with specific and essential roles in platelet biogenesis.
Project description:Cancer-associated mutations in oncogene products and tumor suppressors contributing to tumor progression manifest themselves, at least in part, by deregulating microtubule-dependent cellular processes that play important roles in many cell biological pathways, including intracellular transport, cell architecture, and primary cilium and mitotic spindle organization. An essential characteristic of microtubules in the performance of these varied cell processes is their ability to continuously remodel, a phenomenon known as dynamic instability. It is therefore conceivable that part of the normal function of certain cancer-causing genes is to regulate microtubule dynamic instability. Here, we report the results of a high-resolution live-cell image-based RNA interference screen targeting a collection of 70 human tumor suppressor genes to uncover cancer genes affecting microtubule dynamic instability. Extraction and computational analysis of microtubule dynamics from EB3-GFP time-lapse image sequences identified the products of the tumor suppressor genes NF1 and NF2 as potent microtubule-stabilizing proteins. Further in-depth characterization of NF2 revealed that it binds to and stabilizes microtubules through attenuation of tubulin turnover by lowering both rates of microtubule polymerization and depolymerization as well as by reducing the frequency of microtubule catastrophes. The latter function appears to be mediated, in part, by inhibition of hydrolysis of tubulin-bound GTP on the growing microtubule plus end.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is required for proper functioning of platelets following activation in response to vascular damage. Formins are a family of proteins that regulate actin polymerization and cytoskeletal organization via a number of domains including the FH2 domain. However, the role of formins in platelet spreading has not been studied in detail. OBJECTIVES:Several formin proteins are expressed in platelets so we used an inhibitor of FH2 domains (SMIFH2) to uncover the role of these proteins in platelet spreading and in maintenance of resting platelet shape. METHODS:Washed human and mouse platelets were treated with various concentrations of SMIFH2 and the effects on platelet spreading, platelet size, platelet cytoskeletal dynamics, and organization were analyzed using fluorescence and electron microscopy. RESULTS:Pretreatment with SMIFH2 completely blocks platelet spreading in both mouse and human platelets through effects on the organization and dynamics of actin and microtubules. However, platelet aggregation and secretion are unaffected. SMIFH2 also caused a decrease in resting platelet size and disrupted the balance of tubulin post-translational modification. CONCLUSIONS:These data therefore demonstrated an important role for formin-mediated actin polymerization in platelet spreading and highlighted the importance of formins in cross-talk between the actin and tubulin cytoskeletons.
Project description:The ankyrin 3 gene (ANK3) is a well-established risk gene for psychiatric illness, but the mechanisms underlying its pathophysiology remain elusive. We examined the molecular effects of disrupting brain-specific Ank3 isoforms in mouse and neuronal model systems. RNA sequencing of hippocampus from Ank3+/- and Ank3+/+ mice identified altered expression of 282 genes that were enriched for microtubule-related functions. Results were supported by increased expression of microtubule end-binding protein 3 (EB3), an indicator of microtubule dynamics, in Ank3+/- mouse hippocampus. Live-cell imaging of EB3 movement in primary neurons from Ank3+/- mice revealed impaired elongation of microtubules. Using a CRISPR-dCas9-KRAB transcriptional repressor in mouse neuro-2a cells, we determined that repression of brain-specific Ank3 increased EB3 expression, decreased tubulin acetylation, and increased the soluble:polymerized tubulin ratio, indicating enhanced microtubule dynamics. These changes were rescued by inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) with lithium or CHIR99021, a highly selective GSK3 inhibitor. Brain-specific Ank3 repression in neuro-2a cells increased GSK3 activity (reduced inhibitory phosphorylation) and elevated collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) phosphorylation, a known GSK3 substrate and microtubule-binding protein. Pharmacological inhibition of CRMP2 activity attenuated the rescue of EB3 expression and tubulin polymerization in Ank3-repressed cells by lithium or CHIR99021, suggesting microtubule instability induced by Ank3 repression is dependent on CRMP2 activity. Taken together, our data indicate that ANK3 functions in neuronal microtubule dynamics through GSK3 and its downstream substrate CRMP2. These findings reveal cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying brain-specific ANK3 disruption that may be related to its role in psychiatric illness.
Project description:Inhibition of microtubule dynamic instability prevents growth cone turning in response to guidance cues, yet specific changes in microtubule polymerization as growth cones encounter boundaries have not been investigated. In this study, we examined the rate and direction of microtubule polymerization in response to soluble nerve growth factor (NGF) and immobilized chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) by expressing enhanced GFP-EB3 in rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells. GFP-EB3 comets were monitored in live cells using time-lapse epifluorescent microscopy. With an automated tracking system, the rate of microtubule polymerization was calculated as the frame-to-frame displacement of EB3 comets. Our results demonstrate that the rate of microtubule polymerization is increased following NGF treatment, whereas contact with CSPGs decreases microtubule polymerization rates. This reduction in microtubule polymerization rates was specifically localized to neurites in direct contact with CSPGs and not at noncontacting neurites. Additionally, we found an increase in the percentage of microtubules polymerizing in the retrograde direction in neurites at CSPG boundaries, with a concomitant decrease in the rate of retrograde microtubule polymerization. These results implicate localized changes in microtubule dynamics as an important component of the growth cone response to guidance cues.
Project description:During thrombopoiesis, megakaroycytes undergo extensive cytoskeletal remodeling to form proplatelet extensions that eventually produce mature platelets. Proplatelet formation is a tightly orchestrated process that depends on dynamic regulation of both tubulin reorganization and Rho-associated, coiled-coil containing protein kinase/RhoA activity. A disruption in tubulin dynamics or RhoA activity impairs proplatelet formation and alters platelet morphology. We previously observed that protein kinase Cepsilon (PKC?), a member of the protein kinase C family of serine/threonine-kinases, expression varies during human megakaryocyte differentiation and modulates megakaryocyte maturation and platelet release. Here we used an in vitro model of murine platelet production to investigate a potential role for PKC? in proplatelet formation. By immunofluorescence we observed that PKC? colocalizes with ?/?-tubulin in specific areas of the marginal tubular-coil in proplatelets. Moreover, we found that PKC? expression escalates during megakarocyte differentiation and remains elevated in proplatelets, whereas the active form of RhoA is substantially downregulated in proplatelets. PKC? inhibition resulted in lower proplatelet numbers and larger diameter platelets in culture as well as persistent RhoA activation. Finally, we demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition of RhoA is capable of reversing the proplatelet defects mediated by PKC? inhibition. Collectively, these data indicate that by regulating RhoA activity, PKC? is a critical mediator of mouse proplatelet formation in vitro.