Synthesis and secretion of von Willebrand factor and fibronectin in megakaryocytes at different phases of maturation.
Our goals have been to define the biochemical characteristics of megakaryocytes during maturation that are critical for platelet assembly and release into the circulation and to introduce biochemical markers for megakaryocytes. To achieve these goals, we have studied fibronectin (FN) and von Willebrand factor (vWF), which are large adhesive proteins that are synthesized by megakaryocytes, stored in alpha granules, and thought to have a fundamental role in hemostasis. The study demonstrated that vWF is primarily synthesized in mature megakaryocytes, which synthesized 7.5 times more vWF than immature megakaryocytes. Brefeldin A, which blocks the exit of proteins from the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), inhibited the formation of vWF multimers but did not affect the synthesis of monomers and dimers in mature megakaryocytes. These data are consistent with the formation of vWF dimers in the RER and the assembly of vWF multimers in the trans- and post-golgi. The synthesis of both the 260-kD and 275-kD pro-vWF was detected. However, the synthesis of 275-kD pro-vWF and 220-kD mature vWF was only evident after 2 hours, suggesting that the transit time of nascent vWF through the RER is about 2 hours. Constitutive secretion of vWF was demonstrated in megakaryocytes. About 14.5% and 4.6% of synthesized vWF was secreted by mature and immature megakaryocytes, respectively. In contrast, the synthesis of FN monomers and dimers was established in immature megakaryocytes, and their synthesis in mature megakaryocytes was very similar. Constitutive secretion of FN was not seen in megakaryocytes. Brefeldin A did not inhibit the synthesis of FN dimers; thus, formation of FN dimers occurs in the RER. The demonstration that vWF and FN are synthesized at different phases of megakaryocyte maturation and that only vWF is constitutively secreted by megakaryocytes provides new information relevant to alpha granule formation and possibly bone marrow matrix assembly.
Schick, PK; Walker, J; Profeta, B; Denisova, L; Bennett, V
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