Exogenous human α-Synuclein acts in vitro as a mild platelet antiaggregant inhibiting α-thrombin-induced platelet activation
Laura Acquasaliente, Giulia Pontarollo, Claudia Maria Radu, Daniele Peterle, Ilaria Artusi, Anna Pagotto, Federico Uliana, Alessandro Negro, Paolo Simioni & Vincenzo De Filippis
α-Synuclein (αSyn) is a small disordered protein, highly conserved in vertebrates and involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Indeed, αSyn amyloid aggregates are present in the brain of patients with PD. Although the pathogenic role of αSyn is widely accepted, the physiological function of this protein remains elusive. Beyond the central nervous system, αSyn is expressed in hematopoietic tissue and blood, where platelets are a major cellular host of αSyn. Platelets play a key role in hemostasis and are potently activated by thrombin (αT) through the cleavage of protease-activated receptors. Furthermore, both αT and αSyn could be found in the same spatial environment, i.e. the platelet membrane, as αT binds to and activates platelets that can release αSyn from α-granules and microvesicles. Here, we investigated the possibility that exogenous αSyn could interfere with platelet activation induced by different agonists in vitro. Data obtained from distinct experimental techniques (i.e. multiple electrode aggregometry, rotational thromboelastometry, immunofluorescence microscopy, surface plasmon resonance, and steady-state fluorescence spectroscopy) on whole blood and platelet-rich plasma indicate that exogenous αSyn has mild platelet antiaggregating properties in vitro, acting as a negative regulator of αT-mediated platelet activation by preferentially inhibiting P-selectin expression on platelet surface. We have also shown that both exogenous and endogenous (i.e. cytoplasmic) αSyn preferentially bind to the outer surface of activated platelets. Starting from these findings, a coherent model of the antiplatelet function of αSyn is proposed.
α-Synuclein, αSyn, protein,