Review

Abstract

Proteomic and genomic technologies provide powerful tools for characterizing the multitude of events that occur in the anucleate platelet. These technologies are beginning to define the complete platelet transcriptome and proteome as well as the protein-protein interactions critical for platelet function. The integration of these results provides the opportunity to identify those proteins involved in discrete facets of platelet function. Here we summarize the findings of platelet proteome and transcriptome studies and their application to diseases of platelet function.

Authors

Iain C. Macaulay, Philippa Carr, Arief Gusnanto, Willem H. Ouwehand, Des Fitzgerald, Nicholas A. Watkins

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Abstract

Platelets represent an important linkage between inflammation, thrombosis, and atherogenesis. Inflammation is characterized by interactions among platelets, leukocytes, and ECs. These interactions trigger autocrine and paracrine activation processes that lead to leukocyte recruitment into the vascular wall. Platelet-induced chronic inflammatory processes at the vascular wall result in development of atherosclerotic lesions and atherothrombosis. This Review highlights the molecular machinery and inflammatory pathways used by platelets to initiate and accelerate atherothrombosis.

Authors

Meinrad Gawaz, Harald Langer, Andreas E. May

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Abstract

Efforts to understand the role of platelets in hemostasis and thrombosis have largely focused on the earliest events of platelet activation, those that lead to aggregation. Although much remains to be learned about those early events, this Review examines a later series of events: the interactions between platelets that can only occur once aggregation has begun, bringing platelets into close contact with each other, creating a protected environment in the gaps between aggregated platelets, and fostering the continued growth and stability of the hemostatic plug.

Authors

Lawrence F. Brass, Li Zhu, Timothy J. Stalker

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Abstract

Biological evolution has struggled to produce mechanisms that can limit blood loss following injury. In humans and other mammals, control of blood loss (hemostasis) is achieved through a combination of plasma proteins, most of which are made in the liver, and platelets, anucleate blood cells that are produced in the bone marrow by megakaryocytes. Much has been learned about the underlying mechanisms, but much remains to be determined. The articles in this series review current ideas about the production of megakaryocytes from undifferentiated hematopoietic precursors, the steps by which megakaryocytes produce platelets, and the molecular mechanisms within platelets that make hemostasis possible. The underlying theme that connects the articles is the intense investigation of a complex system that keeps humans from bleeding to death, but at the same time exposes us to increased risk of thrombosis and vascular disease.

Authors

Lawrence F. Brass

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Abstract

About 5% of American women and 12% of men will develop a kidney stone at some time in their life, and prevalence has been rising in both sexes. Approximately 80% of stones are composed of calcium oxalate (CaOx) and calcium phosphate (CaP); 10% of struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate produced during infection with bacteria that possess the enzyme urease), 9% of uric acid (UA); and the remaining 1% are composed of cystine or ammonium acid urate or are diagnosed as drug-related stones. Stones ultimately arise because of an unwanted phase change of these substances from liquid to solid state. Here we focus on the mechanisms of pathogenesis involved in CaOx, CaP, UA, and cystine stone formation, including recent developments in our understanding of related changes in human kidney tissue and of underlying genetic causes, in addition to current therapeutics.

Authors

Fredric L. Coe, Andrew Evan, Elaine Worcester

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Abstract

The Akt and Pim kinases are cytoplasmic serine/threonine kinases that control programmed cell death by phosphorylating substrates that regulate both apoptosis and cellular metabolism. The PI3K-dependent activation of the Akt kinases and the JAK/STAT–dependent induction of the Pim kinases are examples of partially overlapping survival kinase pathways. Pharmacological manipulation of such kinases could have a major impact on the treatment of a wide variety of human diseases including cancer, inflammatory disorders, and ischemic diseases.

Authors

Ravi Amaravadi, Craig B. Thompson

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Abstract

IκB kinase/NF-κB (IKK/NF-κB) signaling pathways play critical roles in a variety of physiological and pathological processes. One function of NF-κB is promotion of cell survival through induction of target genes, whose products inhibit components of the apoptotic machinery in normal and cancerous cells. NF-κB can also prevent programmed necrosis by inducing genes encoding antioxidant proteins. Regardless of mechanism, many cancer cells, of either epithelial or hematopoietic origin, use NF-κB to achieve resistance to anticancer drugs, radiation, and death cytokines. Hence, inhibition of IKK-driven NF-κB activation offers a strategy for treatment of different malignancies and can convert inflammation-induced tumor growth to inflammation-induced tumor regression.

Authors

Jun-Li Luo, Hideaki Kamata, Michael Karin

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Abstract

Induction of heat shock proteins (Hsps) following cellular damage can prevent apoptosis induced by both the intrinsic and the extrinsic pathways. The intrinsic pathway is characterized by mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP), cytochrome c release, apoptosome assembly, and caspase activation. Hsps promote cell survival by preventing MOMP or apoptosome formation as well as via regulation of Akt and JNK activities. Engagement of the TNF death receptors induces the extrinsic pathway that is characterized by Fas-associated death domain–dependent (FADD-dependent) caspase-8 activation or induction of NF-κB to promote cellular survival. Hsps can directly suppress proapoptotic signaling events or stabilizing elements of the NF-κB pathway to promote cellular survival.

Authors

Helen M. Beere

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Abstract

Cell death by apoptosis or necrosis is often important in the etiology and treatment of disease. Since mitochondria play important roles in cell death pathways, these organelles are potentially prime targets for therapeutic intervention. Here we discuss the mechanisms through which mitochondria participate in the cell death process and also survey some of the pharmacological approaches that target mitochondria in various ways.

Authors

Lisa Bouchier-Hayes, Lydia Lartigue, Donald D. Newmeyer

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Abstract

The commitment to programmed cell death involves complex interactions among pro- and antiapoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family of proteins. The physiological result of a decision by these proteins to undergo cell death is permeabilization of the mitochondrial outer membrane. Pharmacologic manipulation of proteins in this family appears both feasible and efficacious, whether the goal is decreased cell death, as in ischemia of the myocardium or brain, or increased cell death, as in cancer.

Authors

Anthony Letai

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