Effects of Cathepsin G Pretreatment of Platelets on their Subsequent Responses to Aggregating Agents
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Cathepsin G, a proteolytic enzyme from activated leukocytes, can interact with platelets during inflammation and thrombosis. Platelets that have been exposed to cathepsin G in thrombi may recirculate if they are freed during fibrinolysis. To determine whether some of the subsequent functions of such platelets would be impaired, we investigated the responses of cathepsin G-pretreated platelets to agonists that they would encounter in the circulation. Suspensions of washed human platelets were labeled with [14C]serotonin and resuspended in Tyrode-albumin solution (with 2 mM Ca2+ and apyrase). After 15 minute incubation with 400 nM cathepsin G at 37 degrees C, 52+/-3% of [14C]serotonin had been released, and glycoprotein Ib was degraded. The platelets were washed and resuspended in fresh medium to remove cathepsin G and released materials. Ristocetin-induced agglutination was abolished, indicating that the binding site for von Willebrand Factor on glycoprotein Ib had been removed. Aggregation and release of residual [14C]serotonin in response to 0.1-1.0 U/mL thrombin was blocked or greatly reduced by the cathepsin G pretreatment. This inhibition is probably largely due to cleavage by cathepsin G of some of the protease-activated receptors at the C-terminal side of Ser42 so that the tethered ligand is lost. Pretreatment with cathepsin G did not affect responses to ADP or a low concentration of platelet-activating factor in the presence of fibrinogen, indicating that receptors for these agonists were unaffected and that the function of the fibrinogen receptor, GPIIb/IIIa was unchanged. Responses to cathepsin G, the thrombin receptor-activating peptide SFLLRN, collagen, or the thromboxane A2 mimetic U46619 were partially inhibited, even in the presence of added fibrinogen. Platelet adhesion to a collagen-coated surface was 51+/-7% inhibited, which may indicate cleavage of a collagen receptor or receptors; this may partly account for strong inhibition of collagen-induced aggregation and release of granule contents; additionally, as shown by inhibition of responses to U46619, the function of the thromboxane A2 receptor may be compromised. Thus, although cathepsin G activates platelets, if they recirculate after interaction with it, their subsequent adhesion to damaged vessel walls, aggregation, and release of granule contents induced by thrombin and collagen will be diminished.
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