Wednesday, 14 June 2017 09:54

Evidence for shear-mediated Ca2+ entry through mechanosensitive cation channels in human platelets and a megakaryocytic cell line

doi:  10.1074/jbc.M116.766196


Zeki Ilkan, Joy R. Wright,‡§ Alison H. Goodall,§ Jonathan M. Gibbins, Chris I. Jones, and Martyn P. Mahaut-Smith

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
§Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester LE3 9QP, UK
School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AS, UK



The role of mechanosensitive (MS) Ca2+-permeable ion channels in platelets is unclear, despite the importance of shear stress in platelet function and life-threatening thrombus formation. We therefore sought to investigate the expression and functional relevance of MS channels in human platelets. The effect of shear stress on Ca2+ entry in human platelets and Meg-01 megakaryocytic cells loaded with Fluo-3 was examined by confocal microscopy. Cells were attached to glass coverslips within flow chambers that allowed applications of physiological and pathological shear stress. Arterial shear (1002.6 s−1) induced a sustained increase in [Ca2+]i in Meg-01 cells and enhanced the frequency of repetitive Ca2+ transients by 80% in platelets. These Ca2+ increases were abrogated by the MS channel inhibitor Grammostola spatulata mechanotoxin 4 (GsMTx-4) or by chelation of extracellular Ca2+. Thrombus formation was studied on collagen-coated surfaces using DiOC6-stained platelets. In addition, [Ca2+]i and functional responses of washed platelet suspensions were studied with Fura-2 and light transmission aggregometry, respectively. Thrombus size was reduced 50% by GsMTx-4, independently of P2X1 receptors. In contrast, GsMTx-4 had no effect on collagen-induced aggregation or on Ca2+ influx via TRPC6 or Orai1 channels and caused only a minor inhibition of P2X1-dependent Ca2+ entry. The Piezo1 agonist, Yoda1, potentiated shear-dependent platelet Ca2+ transients by 170%. Piezo1 mRNA transcripts and protein were detected with quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively, in both platelets and Meg-01 cells. We conclude that platelets and Meg-01 cells express the MS cation channel Piezo1, which may contribute to Ca2+ entry and thrombus formation under arterial shear.