lisa holbrook image

Dr Lisa Holbrook

Lecturer One Health-One Medicine (Non-Communicable Disease)
BSc, PhD


University roles and responsibilities

  • PBL Coordinator

    My qualifications

    BSc (Hons), PhD


    Research interests

    Indicators of esteem

    • Editor's Awards finalist, JTH 2017.

      ISTH 2009 Young Investigator Award Recipient.


      Postgraduate research supervision



      Holbrook LM, Keeton S.J, Sasikumar P, Nock S, Gelzinis J, Brunt E, Ryan S, Pantos M.M, Verbetsky C.A, Kennedy D, Gibbins J.M. (2021) The anti-asthma compound Zafirlukast is a broad spectrum thiol isomerase inhibitor that inhibits thrombosis
      without altering bleeding times.

      Background and purpose: Multiple members of the thiol isomerase (TI) family of enzymes are present in and released by platelets. Inhibition of these enzymes results in diminished platelet responses, aggregation, adhesion and thrombus formation. Recently, the therapeutic potential of TI inhibition has been recognised and drug-development technologies were used to identify selective small molecule inhibitors. To date, few pan-TI inhibitors have been characterised and the most studied, bacitracin, is known to be nephrotoxic, which prohibits its systemic therapeutic usage.

      Experimental approach: We therefore sought to identify novel broad-spectrum inhibitors of these enzymes and test their effects in vivo. A total of 3,641 compounds were screened for inhibitory effects on the redox activity of ERp5, protein disulphide isomerase (PDI), ERp57, ERp72 and thioredoxin in an insulin turbidity assay. Of the lead compounds identified, zafirlukast was selected for further investigation.

      Key results: When applied to platelets, zafirlukast diminished platelet responses in vitro. Zafirlukast was antithrombotic in murine models of thrombosis but did not impair responses in a model of haemostasis. Since TIs are known to modulate adhesion receptor function, we explored the effects of zafirlukast on cell migration. This was inhibited independently of cysteinyl LT receptor expression and was associated with modulation of cell-surface free thiol levels consistent with alterations in redox activity on the cell surface.

      Conclusion and implications: We identify zafirlukast to be a novel, potent, broad-spectrum TI inhibitor, with wide-ranging effects on platelet function, thrombosis and integrin-mediated cell migration. Zafirlukast is antithrombotic but does not cause bleeding.

      Sahli K.A, Flora G.D, Sasikumar P, Maghrabi A.H, Holbrook LM, AlOuda S.K, Sage T, Stainer A.R, Adiyaman R, AboHassan M, Crescente M, Bye A.P, Unsworth A.J, Jones C.I, McGuffin L.J, Gibbins J.M. (2021) Structural, functional and mechanistic insights uncover the fundamental role of orphan Connexin 62 in platelets.

      Connexins oligomerise to form hexameric hemichannels in the plasma membrane that can further dock together on adjacent cells to form gap junctions and facilitate intercellular trafficking of molecules. In this study, we report the expression and function of an orphan connexin, connexin-62 (Cx62), in human and mouse (Cx57, mouse homolog) platelets. A novel mimetic peptide (62Gap27) was developed to target the second extracellular loop of Cx62, and 3-dimensional structural models predicted its interference with gap junction and hemichannel function. The ability of 62Gap27 to regulate both gap junction and hemichannel-mediated intercellular communication was observed using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analysis and flow cytometry. Cx62 inhibition by 62Gap27 suppressed a range of agonist-stimulated platelet functions and impaired thrombosis and hemostasis. This was associated with elevated protein kinase A-dependent signaling in a cyclic adenosine monophosphate-independent manner and was not observed in Cx57-deficient mouse platelets (in which the selectivity of 62Gap27 for this connexin was also confirmed). Notably, Cx62 hemichannels were observed to function independently of Cx37 and Cx40 hemichannels. Together, our data reveal a fundamental role for a hitherto uncharacterized connexin in regulating the function of circulating cells.

      Flora G.D, Sahli K.A, Sasikumar P, Holbrook LM, Stainer A.R, AlOuda S.K, Crescente M, Sage T, Unsworth A.J, Gibbins J.M. (2019) Non-genomic effects of the Pregnane X Receptor negatively regulate platelet functions, thrombosis and haemostasis

      The pregnane X receptor (PXR) is a nuclear receptor (NR), involved in the detoxification of xenobiotic compounds. Recently, its presence was reported in the human vasculature and its ligands were proposed to exhibit anti-atherosclerotic effects. Since platelets contribute towards the development of atherosclerosis and possess numerous NRs, we investigated the expression of PXR in platelets along with the ability of its ligands to modulate platelet activation. The expression of PXR in human platelets was confirmed using immunoprecipitation analysis. Treatment with PXR ligands was found to inhibit platelet functions stimulated by a range of agonists, with platelet aggregation, granule secretion, adhesion and spreading on fibrinogen all attenuated along with a reduction in thrombus formation (both in vitro and in vivo). The effects of PXR ligands were observed in a species-specific manner, and the human-specific ligand, SR12813, was observed to attenuate thrombus formation in vivo in humanised PXR transgenic mice. PXR ligand-mediated inhibition of platelet function was found to be associated with the inhibition of Src-family kinases (SFKs). This study identifies acute, non-genomic regulatory effects of PXR ligands on platelet function and thrombus formation. In combination with the emerging anti-atherosclerotic properties of PXR ligands, these anti-thrombotic effects may provide additional cardio-protective benefits.

      Stainer A.R, Sasikimar P, Bye A.P, Unsworth A.J, Holbrook LM, Tindall M, Lovegrove J.A, Gibbins J.M. (2019) The metabolites of the dietary flavonoid quercetin possess antithrombotic activity, and interact with aspirin to
      enhance antiplatelet effects.

      Quercetin, a dietary flavonoid, has been reported to possess antiplatelet activity. However, its extensive metabolism following ingestion has resulted in difficulty elucidating precise mechanisms of action. In this study, we aimed to characterize the antiplatelet mechanisms of two methylated metabolites of quercetin-isorhamnetin and tamarixetin-and explore potential interactions with aspirin. Isorhamnetin and tamarixetin inhibited human platelet aggregation, and suppressed activatory processes including granule secretion, integrin αIIbβ3 function, calcium mobilization, and spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk)/linker for activation of T cells (LAT) phosphorylation downstream of glycoprotein VI with similar potency to quercetin. All three flavonoids attenuated thrombus formation in an in vitro microfluidic model, and isoquercetin, a 3-O-glucoside of quercetin, inhibited thrombosis in a murine laser injury model. Isorhamnetin, tamarixetin, and quercetin enhanced the antiplatelet effects of aspirin more-than-additively in a plate-based aggregometry assay, reducing aspirin IC 50 values by an order of magnitude, with this synergy maintained in a whole blood test of platelet function. Our data provide mechanistic evidence for the antiplatelet activity of two quercetin metabolites, isorhamnetin and tamarixetin, and suggest a potential antithrombotic role for these flavonoids. In combination with their interactions with aspirin, this may represent a novel avenue of investigation for the development of new antithrombotic strategies and management of current therapies.

      Fuentes E, Gibbins J.M, Holbrook LM, Palomo I. (2018) NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2): A key target of oxidative stress-mediated platelet activation and thrombosis

      Oxidative stress represents an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the cellular antioxidant system. Increased levels of oxidative stress contribute to the development of atherosclerosis that eventually leads to thrombosis; a principle cause of heart attacks and strokes. Thrombosis is a consequence of platelet activation and aggregate formation within the circulation. Platelet ROS are mostly generated by reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase. NOX2 is an isoform from NADPH oxidase expressed in platelets and an important regulator of platelet activation-associated thrombosis. The present article aims to highlight the relative contribution of NOX2 as a key target of different platelet activation pathways and antiplatelet treatment.

      Sasikumar P, AlOuda K.S, Kaiser W.J, Holbrook LM, Kriek N, Bye A.P, Unsworth A.J, Sage T, Ushioda R, Nagata K, Farndale R.W, Gibbins J.M. (2018) – The chaperone protein HSP47: a platelet collagen binding protein that contributes to thrombosis and haemostasis.

      Heat shock protein 47 (HSP47), a collagen specific chaperone is present on the platelet surface. Collagen mediated platelet function was reduced following blockade or deletion of HSP47. GPVI receptor regulated signalling was reduced in HSP47 deficient platelets. Platelet HSP47 tethers to exposed collagen thus modulating thrombosis and hemostasis.

      Heat shock protein 47 (HSP47) is an intracellular chaperone protein that is vital for collagen biosynthesis in collagen secreting cells. This protein has also been shown to be present on the surface of platelets. Given the importance of collagen and its interactions with platelets in triggering hemostasis and thrombosis, in this study we sought to characterize the role of HSP47 in these cells. Methods and Results The deletion of HSP47 in mouse platelets or its inhibition in human platelets reduced their function in response to collagen and the GPVI agonist (CRP-XL), but responses to thrombin were unaltered. In the absence of functional HSP47, the interaction of collagen with platelets was reduced, and this was associated with reduced GPVI-collagen binding, signalling and platelet activation. Thrombus formation on collagen, under arterial flow conditions, was also decreased following the inhibition or deletion of HSP47, in the presence or absence of eptifibatide, consistent with a role for HSP47 in enhancing platelet adhesion to collagen. Platelet adhesion under flow to von Willebrand factor was unaltered following HSP47 inhibition. Laser-induced thrombosis in cremaster muscle arterioles was reduced and bleeding time was prolonged in HSP47-deficient mice or following inhibition of HSP47. Conclusions Our study demonstrates the presence of HSP47 on the platelet surface, where it interacts with collagen, stabilizes platelet adhesion and increases collagen-mediated signalling and therefore thrombus formation and hemostasis.

      Holbrook LM, Sandhar G.K, Sasikumar P, Schenk M.P, Stainer A.R, Sahli K, Flora G.D, Bicknell A.B, Gibbins J.M. (2018) A humanized monoclonal antibody that inhibits platelet-surface ERp72 reveals a role for ERp72 in thrombosis

       ERp72 is a thiol isomerase enzyme. ERp72 levels increase at the platelet surface during platelet activation. We generated a humanized monoclonal antibody which blocks ERp72 enzyme activity (anti-ERp72). Anti-ERp72 inhibits platelet functional responses and thrombosis.

      Within the endoplasmic reticulum, thiol isomerase enzymes modulate the formation and rearrangement of disulfide bonds in newly folded proteins entering the secretory pathway to ensure correct protein folding. In addition to their intracellular importance, thiol isomerases have been recently identified to be present on the surface of a number of cell types where they are important for cell function. Several thiol isomerases are known to be present on the resting platelet surface, including PDI, ERp5 and ERp57, and levels are increased following platelet activation. Inhibition of the catalytic activity of these enzymes results in diminished platelet function and thrombosis. Aim We previously determined that ERp72 is present at the resting platelet surface and levels increase upon platelet activation; however, its functional role on the cell surface was unclear. We aimed to investigate the role of ERp72 in platelet function and its role in thrombosis. Methods Using HuCAL technology, fully humanized Fc-null anti-ERp72 antibodies were generated. Eleven antibodies were screened for their ability to inhibit ERp72 activity and the most potent inhibitory antibody (anti-ERp72) selected for further testing in platelet functional assays. Results and conclusions Anti-ERp72 inhibited platelet aggregation, granule secretion, calcium mobilisation and integrin activation, revealing an important role for extracellular ERp72 in the regulation of platelet activation. Consistent with this, infusion of anti-ERp72 into mice protected against thrombosis.

      Crescente M, Pluthero F.G, Li L, Lo R.W, Walsh T.G, Schenk M.P, Holbrook LM, Louriero S, Ali M.S, Vaiyapuri S, Falet H, Jones I.M, Poole A.W, Kahr W.H, Gibbin (2016) Intracellular trafficking, localization, and mobilization of platelet-borne thiol isomerases.

      Objective: Thiol isomerases facilitate protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum, and several of these enzymes, including protein disulfide isomerase and ERp57, are mobilized to the surface of activated platelets, where they influence platelet aggregation, blood coagulation, and thrombus formation. In this study, we examined the synthesis and trafficking of thiol isomerases in megakaryocytes, determined their subcellular localization in platelets, and identified the cellular events responsible for their movement to the platelet surface on activation.

      Approach and results: Immunofluorescence microscopy imaging was used to localize protein disulfide isomerase and ERp57 in murine and human megakaryocytes at various developmental stages. Immunofluorescence microscopy and subcellular fractionation analysis were used to localize these proteins in platelets to a compartment distinct from known secretory vesicles that overlaps with an inner cell-surface membrane region defined by the endoplasmic/sarcoplasmic reticulum proteins calnexin and sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase 3. Immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry were used to monitor thiol isomerase mobilization in activated platelets in the presence and absence of actin polymerization (inhibited by latrunculin) and in the presence or absence of membrane fusion mediated by Munc13-4 (absent in platelets from Unc13d(Jinx) mice).

      Conclusions: Platelet-borne thiol isomerases are trafficked independently of secretory granule contents in megakaryocytes and become concentrated in a subcellular compartment near the inner surface of the platelet outer membrane corresponding to the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum of these cells. Thiol isomerases are mobilized to the surface of activated platelets via a process that requires actin polymerization but not soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment receptor/Munc13-4-dependent vesicular-plasma membrane fusion.

      Holbrook LM, Kwong L.S, Metcalfe C.L, Fenouillet E, Jones I.M, Barclay A.N. (2016) OX133, a monoclonal antibody recognizing protein-bound N-ethylmaleimide for the identification of reduced disulfide bonds in proteins

      In vivo, enzymatic reduction of some protein disulfide bonds, allosteric disulfide bonds, provides an important level of structural and functional regulation. The free cysteine residues generated can be labeled by maleimide reagents, including biotin derivatives, allowing the reduced protein to be detected or purified. During the screening of monoclonal antibodies for those specific for the reduced forms of proteins, we isolated OX133, a unique antibody that recognizes polypeptide resident, N-ethylmaleimide (NEM)-modified cysteine residues in a sequence-independent manner. OX133 offers an alternative to biotin-maleimide reagents for labeling reduced/alkylated antigens and capturing reduced/alkylated proteins with the advantage that NEM-modified proteins are more easily detected in mass spectrometry, and may be more easily recovered than is the case following capture with biotin based reagents.

      Kim K, Hahm E, Li J, Holbrook LM, Sasikumar P, Stanley R.G, Ushio-Fukai M, Gibbins J.M, Cho J. (2013) Platelet protein disulfide isomerase is required for thrombus formation but not for hemostasis in mice.

      Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) derived from intravascular cells is required for thrombus formation. However, it remains unclear whether platelet PDI contributes to the process. Using platelet-specific PDI-deficient mice, we demonstrate that PDI-null platelets have defects in aggregation and adenosine triphosphate secretion induced by thrombin, collagen, and adenosine diphosphate. Such defects were rescued by wild-type but not mutant PDI, indicating that the isomerase activity of platelet surface PDI is critical for the regulatory effect. PDI-deficient platelets expressed increased levels of intracellular ER protein 57 (ERp57) and ERp72. Platelet PDI regulated αIIbβ3 integrin activation but not P-selectin exposure, Ca(2+) mobilization, β3-talin1 interaction, or platelet spreading on immobilized fibrinogen. Inhibition of ERp57 further diminished αIIbβ3 integrin activation and aggregation of activated PDI-deficient platelets, suggesting distinct roles of PDI and ERp57 in platelet functions. We found that platelet PDI is important for thrombus formation on collagen-coated surfaces under shear. Intravital microscopy demonstrates that platelet PDI is important for platelet accumulation but not initial adhesion and fibrin generation following laser-induced arteriolar injury. Tail bleeding time in platelet-specific PDI-deficient mice were not significantly increased. Our results provide important evidence that platelet PDI is essential for thrombus formation but not for hemostasis in mice.

      Bertling A, Niemann S, Hussain M, Holbrook L, Stanley R.G, Brodde M.F, Pohl S, Schifferdecker T, Roth J, Jurk K, Müller A, Lahav J, Peters G, Heilmann C, Gibbins J.M, Kehrel B.E. (2012) Staphylococcal extracellular adherence protein induces platelet activation by stimulation of thiol isomerases.

      Objective: Staphylococcus aureus can induce platelet aggregation. The rapidity and degree of this correlates with the severity of disseminated intravascular coagulation, and depends on platelet peptidoglycans. Surface-located thiol isomerases play an important role in platelet activation. The staphylococcal extracellular adherence protein (Eap) functions as an adhesin for host plasma proteins. Therefore we tested the effect of Eap on platelets.

      Methods and results: We found a strong stimulation of the platelet-surface thiol isomerases protein disulfide isomerase and endoplasmic reticulum stress proteins 57 and 72 by Eap. Eap induced thiol isomerase-dependent glycoprotein IIb/IIIa activation, granule secretion, and platelet aggregation. Treatment of platelets with thiol blockers, bacitracin, and anti-protein disulfide isomerase antibody inhibited Eap-induced platelet activation. The effect of Eap on platelets and protein disulfide isomerase activity was completely blocked by glycosaminoglycans. Inhibition by the hydrophobic probe bis(1-anilinonaphthalene 8-sulfonate) suggested the involvement of hydrophobic sites in protein disulfide isomerase and platelet activation by Eap.

      Conclusions: In the present study, we found an additional and yet unknown mechanism of platelet activation by a bacterial adhesin, involving stimulation of thiol isomerases. The thiol isomerase stimulatory and prothrombotic features of a microbial secreted protein are probably not restricted to S aureus and Eap. Because many microorganisms are coated with amyloidogenic proteins, it is likely that the observed mechanism is a more general one.

      Holbrook LM, Moore C, Sanz-Rosa D, Solomon A, Emerson M. (2012) A NOD/SCID mouse model for the assessment of human platelet aggregation in vivo
      Holbrook LM, Sasikumar P, Stanley R.G, Simmonds A.D, Bicknell A.B, Gibbins J.M. (2012) The platelet-surface thiol isomerase enzyme ERp57 modulates platelet function

      Background: Thiol isomerases are a family of endoplasmic reticulum enzymes which orchestrate redox-based modifications of protein disulphide bonds. Previous studies have identified important roles for the thiol isomerases PDI and ERp5 in the regulation of normal platelet function.

      Aim: Recently, we demonstrated the presence of a further five thiol isomerases at the platelet surface. In this report we aim to report the role of one of these enzymes - ERp57 in the regulation of platelet function.

      Methods/results: Using enzyme activity function blocking antibodies, we demonstrate a role for ERp57 in platelet aggregation, dense granule secretion, fibrinogen binding, calcium mobilisation and thrombus formation under arterial conditions. In addition to the effects of ERp57 on isolated platelets, we observe the presence of ERp57 in the developing thrombus in vivo. Furthermore the inhibition of ERp57 function was found to reduce laser-injury induced arterial thrombus formation in a murine model of thrombosis.

      Conclusions: These data suggest that ERp57 is important for normal platelet function and opens up the possibility that the regulation of platelet function by a range of cell surface thiol isomerases may represent a broad paradigm for the regulation of haemostasis and thrombosis.

      Jones S, Solomon A, Sanz-Rosa D, Moore C, Holbrook L, Cartwright E.J, Neyses L, Emerson M. (2010) The plasma membrane calcium ATPase modulates calcium homeostasis, intracellular signaling events and function in platelets

      Background: The plasma membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA) regulates localized signaling events in a variety of cell types, although its functional role in platelets remains undefined.

      Objectives: To investigate the role of PMCA in determining platelet intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca²(+) ](i) ) at rest and following agonist stimulation, and to define the corresponding effects upon different stages of platelet activation.

      Methods: [Ca²(+) ](i) was continuously measured in Fura-2-loaded platelets and in vitro and in vivo functional analyses performed in the presence of the PMCA inhibitor carboxyeosin (CE).

      Results: Concentrations of CE that selectively inhibited Ca²(+) extrusion through PMCA were established in human platelets. [Ca²(+) ](i) was elevated by CE in resting platelets, although collagen-stimulated Ca²(+) release was reduced. Impaired Ca²(+) mobilization upon agonist stimulation was accompanied by reduced dense granule secretion and impaired platelet aggregation. Platelet aggregation responses were also reduced in PMCA4(-/-) mice and in an in vivo mouse model of platelet thromboembolism. Conversely, inhibition of PMCA promoted the early and later stages of platelet activation, observed as enhanced adhesion to fibrinogen, and accelerated clot retraction. Investigations into the signaling mechanisms underlying CE-mediated inhibition of platelet aggregation implicated cGMP-independent vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein phosphorylation.

      Conclusions: Disruption of PMCA activity perturbs platelet Ca²(+) homeostasis and function in a time-dependent manner, demonstrating that PMCA differentially regulates Ca²(+) -dependent signaling events, and hence function, throughout the platelet activation process.

      Moraes L.A, Barrett N.E, Jones C.I, Holbrook LM, Spyridon M, Sage T, Newman D.K, Gibbins J.M. (2010) Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 regulates collagen-stimulated platelet function by modulating the
      association of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase with Grb-2-associated binding protein-1 and linker for activation of T cells.

      Background: Platelet activation by collagen depends on signals transduced by the glycoprotein (GP)VI-Fc receptor (FcR)γ-chain collagen receptor complex, which involves recruitment of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) to phosphorylated tyrosines in the linker for activation of T cells (LAT). An interaction between the p85 regulatory subunit of PI3K and the scaffolding molecule Grb-2-associated binding protein-1 (Gab1), which is regulated by binding of the Src homology 2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase-2 (SHP-2) to Gab1, has been shown in other cell types to sustain PI3K activity to elicit cellular responses. Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) functions as a negative regulator of platelet reactivity and thrombosis, at least in part by inhibiting GPVI-FcRγ-chain signaling via recruitment of SHP-2 to phosphorylated immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motifs in PECAM-1.

      Objective: To investigate the possibility that PECAM-1 regulates the formation of the Gab1-p85 signaling complexes, and the potential effect of such interactions on GPVI-mediated platelet activation in platelets.

      Methods: The ability of PECAM-1 signaling to modulate the LAT signalosome was investigated with immunoblotting assays on human platelets and knockout mouse platelets.

      Results: PECAM-1-associated SHP-2 in collagen-stimulated platelets binds to p85, which results in diminished levels of association with both Gab1 and LAT and reduced collagen-stimulated PI3K signaling. We therefore propose that PECAM-1-mediated inhibition of GPVI-dependent platelet responses result, at least in part, from recruitment of SHP-2-p85 complexes to tyrosine-phosphorylated PECAM-1, which diminishes the association of PI3K with activatory signaling molecules, such as Gab1 and LAT.

      Holbrook L, Watkins N.A, Simmonds A.D, Jones C.I, Ouwehand W.H, Gibbins J.M. (2010) Platelets release novel thiol isomerase enzymes which are recruited to the cell surface following activation

      The thiol isomerase enzymes protein disulphide isomerase (PDI) and endoplasmic reticulum protein 5 (ERp5) are released by resting and activated platelets. These re-associate with the cell surface where they modulate a range of platelet responses including adhesion, secretion and aggregation. Recent studies suggest the existence of yet uncharacterised platelet thiol isomerase proteins. This study aimed to identify which other thiol isomerase enzymes are present in human platelets. Through the use of immunoblotting, flow cytometry, cell-surface biotinylation and gene array analysis, we report the presence of five additional thiol isomerases in human and mouse platelets and megakaryocytes, namely; ERp57, ERp72, ERp44, ERp29 and TMX3. ERp72, ERp57, ERp44 and ERp29 are released by platelets and relocate to the cell surface following platelet activation. The transmembrane thiol isomerase TMX3 was also detected on the platelet surface but does not increase following activation. Extracellular PDI is also implicated in the regulation of coagulation by the modulation of tissue factor activity. ERp57 was identified within platelet-derived microparticle fractions, suggesting that ERp57 may also be involved in the regulation of coagulation as well as platelet function. These data collectively implicate the expanding family of platelet-surface thiol isomerases in the regulation of haemostasis.

      Kaiser W.J, Holbrook L, Tucker K.L, Stanley R.G, Gibbins J.M. (2009) A functional proteomic method for the enrichment of peripheral membrane proteins reveals the collagen binding
      protein Hsp47 is exposed on the surface of activated human platelets.

      Platelets are small blood cells vital for hemostasis. Following vascular damage, platelets adhere to collagens and activate, forming a thrombus that plugs the wound and prevents blood loss. Stimulation of the platelet collagen receptor glycoprotein VI (GPVI) allows recruitment of proteins to receptor-proximal signaling complexes on the inner-leaflet of the plasma membrane. These proteins are often present at low concentrations; therefore, signaling-complex characterization using mass spectrometry is limited due to high sample complexity. We describe a method that facilitates detection of signaling proteins concentrated on membranes. Peripheral membrane proteins (reversibly associated with membranes) were eluted from human platelets with alkaline sodium carbonate. Liquid-phase isoelectric focusing and gel electrophoresis were used to identify proteins that changed in levels on membranes from GPVI-stimulated platelets. Immunoblot analysis verified protein recruitment to platelet membranes and subsequent protein phosphorylation was preserved. Hsp47, a collagen binding protein, was among the proteins identified and found to be exposed on the surface of GPVI-activated platelets. Inhibition of Hsp47 abolished platelet aggregation in response to collagen, while only partially reducing aggregation in response to other platelet agonists. We propose that Hsp47 may therefore play a role in hemostasis and thrombosis.

      Barrett N.E, Holbrook L, Jones S, Kaiser W.J, Moraes L.A, Rana R, Sage T, Stanley R.G, Tucker K.L, Wright B, Gibbins JM. (2009) Future innovations in anti-platelet therapies

      Platelets have long been recognized to be of central importance in haemostasis, but their participation in pathological conditions such as thrombosis, atherosclerosis and inflammation is now also well established. The platelet has therefore become a key target in therapies to combat cardiovascular disease. Anti-platelet therapies are used widely, but current approaches lack efficacy in a proportion of patients, and are associated with side effects including problem bleeding. In the last decade, substantial progress has been made in understanding the regulation of platelet function, including the characterization of new ligands, platelet-specific receptors and cell signalling pathways. It is anticipated this progress will impact positively on the future innovations towards more effective and safer anti-platelet agents. In this review, the mechanisms of platelet regulation and current anti-platelet therapies are introduced, and strong, and some more speculative, potential candidate target molecules for future anti-platelet drug development are discussed.

      Camargo LL, Trevelin SC, da Silva GHG, Dos Santos Dias AA, Oliveira MA, Mikhaylichenko O, Androwiki ACD, Dos Santos CX, Holbrook LM, Ceravolo GS, Denadai-Souza A, Ribeiro IMR, Sartoretto S, Laurindo FRM, Coltri PP, Antunes VR, Touyz R, Miller FJ Jr, Shah (2024) Protein disulfide isomerase-mediated transcriptional upregulation of Nox1 contributes to vascular dysfunction in hypertension.

      Nox1 signaling is a causal key element in arterial hypertension. Recently, we identified protein disulfide isomerase A1 (PDI) as a novel regulatory protein that regulates Nox1 signaling in VSMCs. Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) have increased levels of PDI in mesenteric resistance arteries compared with Wistar controls; however, its consequences remain unclear. Herein, we investigated the role of PDI in mediating Nox1 transcriptional upregulation and its effects on vascular dysfunction in hypertension. We demonstrate that PDI contributes to the development of hypertension via enhanced transcriptional upregulation of Nox1 in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). We show for the first time that PDI sulfenylation by hydrogen peroxide contributes to EGFR activation in hypertension via increased shedding of epidermal growth factor-like ligands. PDI also increases intracellular calcium levels, and contractile responses induced by ANG II. PDI silencing or pharmacological inhibition in VSMCs significantly decreases EGFR activation and Nox1 transcription. Overexpression of PDI in VSMCs enhances ANG II-induced EGFR activation and ATF1 translocation to the nucleus. Mechanistically, PDI increases ATF1-induced Nox1 transcription and enhances the contractile responses to ANG II. Herein we show that ATF1 binding to Nox1 transcription putative regulatory regions is augmented by PDI. Altogether, we provide evidence that HB-EGF in SHR resistance vessels promotes the nuclear translocation of ATF1, under the control of PDI, and thereby induces Nox1 gene expression and increases vascular reactivity. Thus, PDI acts as a thiol redox-dependent enhancer of vascular dysfunction in hypertension and could represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of this disease.