• Article

Thrombin causes subsecond changes in protein phosphorylation of platelets

We have developed a general quenched-flow approach to study platelet function as early as 0.3 seconds after stimulation. Phosphorylation of 20- and 40-kd proteins has been analyzed during the first five seconds of platelet response to thrombin from 0.1 to 5.0 U/mL and compared with the progress of aggregation and serotonin secretion. The onset time for aggregation and phosphorylation of both proteins was less than one second, although with lowest (less than 0.5 U/mL) thrombin levels, a lag of up to 0.6 seconds occurred before 40K phosphorylation increased. The thrombin sensitivity of aggregation and 20K phosphorylation was approximately twice that of 40K phosphorylation, with Ka values of 0.51 and 0.53 v 1.10 U/mL, respectively. External calcium was necessary for maximal 20K phosphorylation, since EDTA inhibited this by 30%. The 40K phosphorylation was not affected by EDTA. Platelet activation by thrombin thus induced biochemical changes well before one second. The quenched-flow approach may help to reveal relationships between phospholipase activation, calcium fluxes, and protein phosphorylation during these early periods of platelet function


Carty, DJ., Spielberg, F., & Gear, AR. (1986). Thrombin causes subsecond changes in protein phosphorylation of platelets. Blood, 67(6), 1738-1743.