ASK1 facilitates tumor metastasis through phosphorylation of an ADP receptor P2Y12 in platelets.
ABSTRACT: Tumor metastasis is the major cause of deaths in cancer patients and is modulated by intertwined stress-responsive signaling cascades. Here we demonstrate that deletion of stress-responsive apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (Ask1) in platelets results in unstable hemostasis and drastic attenuation of tumor lung metastasis, both of which are attributable to platelet dysfunction. Platelet-specific deletion of Ask1 in mice leads to defects in ADP-dependent platelet aggregation, unstable hemostasis and subsequent attenuation of tumor metastasis. We also revealed that activating phosphorylation of Akt is attenuated in Ask1-deficient platelets, contrary to the previous reports suggesting that Akt is negatively regulated by ASK1. Mechanistically, ASK1-JNK/p38 axis phosphorylates an ADP receptor P2Y12 at Thr345, which is required for the ADP-dependent sustained Akt activity that is vital to normal platelet functions. Our findings offer insight into positive regulation of Akt signaling through P2Y12 phosphorylation as well as MAPK signaling in platelets by ASK1 and suggest that ASK1-JNK/p38 axis provides a new therapeutic opportunity for tumor metastasis.
Project description:The involvement of platelets in tumor progression is well recognized. The depletion of circulating platelets or pharmacologic inhibitors of platelet activation decreases the metastatic potential of circulating tumor cells in metastasis mouse models. The platelet ADP receptor P2Y12 amplifies the initial hemostatic responses activated by a variety of platelet agonists and stabilizes platelet aggregation, playing a crucial role in granule secretion, integrin activation and thrombus formation. However, the relationship between P2Y12 and tumor progression is not clear. In our study, the Lewis Lung Carcinoma (LLC) spontaneous metastatic mouse model was used to evaluate the role of P2Y12 in metastasis. The results demonstrated that P2Y12 deficiency significantly reduced pulmonary metastasis. Further studies indicated that P2Y12 deficiency diminished the ability of LLC cells to induce platelet shape change and release of active TGF?1 by a non-contact dependent mechanism resulting in a diminished, platelet-induced EMT-like transformation of the LLC cells, and that transformation probably is a prerequisite of LLC cell metastasis. Immunohistochemical analyses indicated an obvious P2Y12 deficiency related attenuation of recruitment of VEGFR1+ bone marrow derived cell clusters, and extracellular matrix fibronectin deposition in lungs, which presumably are required for pre-metastatic niche formation. In contrast to the LLC cells, non-epithelial melanoma B16 cells induced platelet aggregation in a cell number and P2Y12-dependent manner. Also, a platelet induced EMT-like transformation of B16 cells is dependent on P2Y12. In agreement with the LLC cell model, platelet P2Y12 deficiency also results in significantly less lung metastasis in the B16 melanoma experimental metastasis model. These results demonstrate that P2Y12 is a safe drug target for anti-thrombotic therapy, and that P2Y12 may serve as a new target for inhibition of tumor metastasis.
Project description:Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) is a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) that regulates activation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)- and p38-stress response pathways leading to apoptosis in nucleated cells. We have previously shown that ASK1 is expressed in platelets and regulates agonist-induced platelet activation and thrombosis. However, the mechanism by which platelet agonists cause activation of ASK1 is unknown. Here, we show that in platelets agonist-induced activation of p38 is exclusively dependent on ASK1. Both thrombin and collagen were able to activate ASK1/p38. Activation of ASK1/p38 was strongly dependent on thromboxane A2 (TxA2) and ADP. Agonist-induced ASK1 activation is blocked by inhibition of phospholipase C (PLC) ?/? activity or by chelating intracellular Ca2+. Furthermore, treatment of platelets with thapsigargin or Ca2+ ionophore robustly induced ASK1/p38 activation. In addition, calcium and integrin-binding protein 1 (CIB1), a Ca2+-dependent negative regulator of ASK1, associates with ASK1 in resting platelets and is dissociated upon platelet activation by thrombin. Dissociation of CIB1 corresponds with ASK1 binding to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor associated factor 6 (TRAF6) and the autophosphorylation of ASK1 Thr838 within the catalytic domain results in full activation of ASK1. Furthermore, genetic ablation of Cib1 in mice augments agonist-induced Ask1/p38 activation. Together our results suggest that in resting platelets ASK1 is bound to CIB1 at low Ca2+ concentrations. Agonist-induced platelet activation causes an increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration that leads to the dissociation of CIB1 from ASK1, allowing for proper dimerization through ASK1 N-terminal coiled-coil (NCC) domains.
Project description:Circulating platelets are constantly exposed to nitric oxide (NO) released from the vascular endothelium. This NO acts to reduce platelet reactivity, and in so doing blunts platelet aggregation and thrombus formation. For successful hemostasis, platelet activation and aggregation must occur at sites of vascular injury despite the constant presence of NO. As platelets aggregate, they release secondary mediators that drive further aggregation. Particularly significant among these secondary mediators is ADP, which, acting through platelet P2Y12 receptors, strongly amplifies aggregation. Platelet P2Y12 receptors are the targets of very widely used antithrombotic drugs such as clopidogrel, prasugrel, and ticagrelor. Here we show that blockade of platelet P2Y12 receptors dramatically enhances the antiplatelet potency of NO, causing a 1,000- to 100,000-fold increase in inhibitory activity against platelet aggregation and release reactions in response to activation of receptors for either thrombin or collagen. This powerful synergism is explained by blockade of a P2Y12 receptor-dependent, NO/cGMP-insensitive phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway of platelet activation. These studies demonstrate that activation of the platelet ADP receptor, P2Y12, severely blunts the inhibitory effects of NO. The powerful antithrombotic effects of P2Y12 receptor blockers may, in part, be mediated by profound potentiation of the effects of endogenous NO.
Project description:Integrins mediate platelet adhesion and transmit outside-in signals leading to platelet spreading. Phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) play a critical role in outside-in signaling and platelet spreading; however, the mechanisms of PI3K activation and function in outside-in signaling are unclear. We sought to determine the role of the Akt family of serine/threonine kinases and activation mechanisms of the PI3K/Akt pathway in outside-in signaling.Akt inhibitors and Akt3 knockout inhibited platelet spreading on fibrinogen, indicating that Akt is important in integrin outside-in signaling. Akt inhibitors and Akt3 knockout also diminished integrin-dependent phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3?. Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3? reversed the inhibitory effects of Akt3 knockout and inhibitors of Akt or PI3K on platelet spreading, indicating that glycogen synthase kinase-3? is a downstream target of Akt in outside-in signaling. Integrin-dependent activation of the PI3K-Akt pathway requires Src family kinase. Akt phosphorylation is also significantly inhibited in ADP receptor P2Y12 knockout platelets and further inhibited in P2Y12 knockout platelets treated with a P2Y1 antagonist. Consistently, P2Y12 knockout and P2Y1 inhibition together reduced platelet spreading.These results demonstrate that integrin outside-in signaling and platelet spreading requires Src family kinase-dependent and ADP receptor-amplified activation of the PI3K-Akt-GSK-3? pathway.
Project description:Platelets modulate hemostasis and immune responses via interactions with immune cells through secretion of immunemodulators and cell-cell interactions. The P2Y12 receptor mediates ADP-induced aggregation and secretion in platelets.Using a mouse model of intra-abdominal sepsis and acute lung injury, we investigated the role of the P2Y12 receptor in neutrophil migration and lung inflammation in P2Y12 null mice and in mice pretreated with the P2Y12 antagonist clopidogrel. Our data show a decrease in circulating white blood cells and a decrease in platelet activation and platelet-leukocyte interactions in treated mice compared with untreated mice. Additionally, lung injury and platelet sequestration were diminished in clopidogrel-treated mice compared with their untreated septic littermates. Similar results were observed in P2Y12 null mice: platelet activation and platelet-leukocyte aggregates were decreased in septic P2Y12 null mice compared with wild-type mice. P2Y12 null mice were refractory to lung injury compared with wild-type mice. Finally, to evaluate P2Y12-independent effects of clopidogrel, we pretreated P2Y12 null mice. Interestingly, the number of circulating neutrophils was reduced in treated septic P2Y12 null mice, suggesting neutrophils as a target for clopidogrel pleiotropic effects. No difference was observed in P2Y1 null mice during sepsis, indicating that the P2Y12 receptor is responsible for the effects.P2Y12 null mice are refractory to sepsis-induced lung injury, suggesting a key role for activated platelets and the P2Y12 receptor during sepsis.
Project description:The local microenvironment within an evolving hemostatic plug shapes the distribution of soluble platelet agonists, resulting in a gradient of platelet activation. We previously showed that thrombin activity at a site of vascular injury is spatially restricted, resulting in robust activation of a subpopulation of platelets in the hemostatic plug core. In contrast, adenosine 5'-diphosphate (ADP)/P2Y12 signaling contributes to the accumulation of partially activated, loosely packed platelets in a shell overlying the core. The contribution of the additional platelet agonists thromboxane A2 (TxA2) and epinephrine to this hierarchical organization was not previously shown. Using a combination of genetic and pharmacologic approaches coupled with real-time intravital imaging, we show that TxA2 signaling is critical and nonredundant with ADP/P2Y12 for platelet accumulation in the shell region but not required for full platelet activation in the hemostatic plug core, where thrombin activity is highest. In contrast, epinephrine signaling is dispensable even in the presence of a P2Y12 antagonist. Finally, dual P2Y12 and thrombin inhibition does not substantially inhibit hemostatic plug core formation any more than thrombin inhibition alone, providing further evidence that thrombin is the primary driver of platelet activation in this region. Taken together, these studies show for the first time how thrombin, P2Y12, and TxA2 signaling are coordinated during development of a hierarchical organization of hemostatic plugs in vivo and provide novel insights into the impact of dual antiplatelet therapy on hemostasis and thrombosis.
Project description:C3G is a GEF (guanine nucleotide exchange factor) for Rap GTPases, among which the isoform Rap1b is an essential protein in platelet biology. Using transgenic mouse models with platelet-specific overexpression of C3G or mutant C3G?Cat, we have unveiled a new function of C3G in regulating the hemostatic function of platelets through its participation in the thrombin-PKC-Rap1b pathway. C3G also plays important roles in angiogenesis, tumor growth, and metastasis through its regulation of the platelet secretome. In addition, C3G contributes to megakaryopoiesis and thrombopoiesis. Here, we used a platelet-specific C3G-KO mouse model to further support the role of C3G in hemostasis. C3G-KO platelets showed a significant delay in platelet activation and aggregation as a consequence of the defective activation of Rap1, which resulted in decreased thrombus formation in vivo. Additionally, we explored the contribution of C3G-Rap1b to platelet signaling pathways triggered by thrombin, PMA or ADP, in the referenced transgenic mouse model, through the use of a battery of specific inhibitors. We found that platelet C3G is phosphorylated at Tyr504 by a mechanism involving PKC-Src. This phosphorylation was shown to be positively regulated by ERKs through their inhibition of the tyrosine phosphatase Shp2. Moreover, C3G participates in the ADP-P2Y12-PI3K-Rap1b pathway and is a mediator of thrombin-TXA2 activities. However, it inhibits the synthesis of TXA2 through cPLA2 regulation. Taken together, our data reveal the critical role of C3G in the main pathways leading to platelet activation and aggregation through the regulation of Rap1b.
Project description:We investigated the effect of platelets on ovarian cancer and the role of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) receptors (P2Y12 and P2Y1) on platelets in the growth of primary ovarian cancer tumors. We showed that in murine models of ovarian cancer, a P2Y12 inhibitor (ticagrelor) reduced tumor growth by 60% compared with aspirin and by 75% compared with placebo. In P2Y12-/- mice, the growth of syngeneic ovarian cancer tumors was reduced by >85% compared with wild-type (WT) mice. In contrast, there was no difference in tumor growth between P2Y1-/- and WT mice. Reconstitution of hematopoiesis in irradiated P2Y12-/- mice by hematopoietic progenitor cells from WT mice (WT?P2Y12-/-) restored tumor growth in P2Y12-/- mice. Finally, knockdown of ecto-apyrase (CD39) on ovarian cancer cells increased tumor growth in tumor-bearing mice. Although in the absence of platelets, ADP, the P2Y12 inhibitor, recombinant apyrase, or knockdown of CD39 did not affect cancer cell proliferation, in the presence of platelets, the P2Y12 inhibitor and recombinant apyrase reduced and knockdown of CD39 increased platelet-enhanced cancer cell proliferation. These results suggest that P2Y12 on platelets and ADP concentration at the interface between cancer cells and platelets affect the growth of primary ovarian cancer tumors in mice. If additional studies in mice and in pilot human trials confirm our results, inhibition of P2Y12 might be a new therapeutic option that can be used in adjuvant to the traditional surgery and chemotherapy in patients with ovarian cancer.
Project description:Background: Extensive research has reported that extracellular ADP in the tumour microenvironment can stimulate platelets through interaction with the platelet receptor P2Y12. In turn, activated platelets release biological factors supporting cancer progression. Experimental data suggest that the tumour microenvironment components, of which platelets are integral, can promote chemotherapy resistance in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Thus, overcoming chemoresistance requires combining multiple inhibitors that simultaneously target intrinsic pathways in cancer cells and extrinsic factors related to the tumour microenvironment. We aimed to determine whether ticagrelor, an inhibitor of the ADP-P2Y12 axis and a well-known antiplatelet drug, could be a therapeutic option for PDAC. Methods: We investigated a functional P2Y12 receptor and its downstream signalling in a panel of PDAC cell lines and non-cancer pancreatic cells termed hTERT-HPNE. We tested the synergistic effect of ticagrelor, a P2Y12 inhibitor, in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs (gemcitabine, paclitaxel and cisplatin), in vitro and in vivo. Results: Knockdown studies revealed that P2Y12 contributed to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation and the expression of SLUG and ZEB1, which are transcriptional factors implicated in metastasis and chemoresistance. Studies using genetic and pharmacological inhibitors showed that the P2Y12-EGFR crosstalk enhanced cancer cell proliferation. Inhibition of P2Y12 signalling significantly reduced EGF-dependent AKT activation and promoted the anticancer activity of anti-EGFR treatment. Importantly, ticagrelor significantly decreased the proliferative capacity of cancer but not normal pancreatic cells. In vitro, synergism was observed when ticagrelor was combined with several chemodrugs. In vivo, a combination of ticagrelor with gemcitabine significantly reduced tumour growth, whereas gemcitabine or ticagrelor alone had a minimal effect. Conclusions: These findings uncover a novel effect and mechanism of action of the antiplatelet drug ticagrelor in PDAC cells and suggest a multi-functional role for ADP-P2Y12 signalling in the tumour microenvironment.
Project description:The ability of platelets to form stable adhesion contacts with other activated platelets (platelet cohesion or aggregation) at sites of vascular injury is essential for hemostasis and thrombosis. In this study, we have examined the mechanisms regulating cytosolic calcium flux during the development of platelet-platelet adhesion contacts under the influence of flow. An examination of platelet calcium flux during platelet aggregate formation in vitro demonstrated a key role for intercellular calcium communication (ICC) in regulating the recruitment of translocating platelets into developing aggregates. We demonstrate that ICC is primarily mediated by a signaling mechanism operating between integrin alpha IIb beta 3 and the recently cloned ADP purinergic receptor P2Y12. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the efficiency by which calcium signals are propagated within platelet aggregates plays an important role in dictating the rate and extent of thrombus growth.