Biochemical Journal

Mastoparan promotes exocytosis and increases intracellular cyclic AMP in human platelets. Evidence for the existence of a Ge-like mechanism of secretion

C P D Wheeler-Jones, T Saermark, V V Kakkar, K S Authi


Recent studies have shown that mastoparan, an amphiphilic peptide derived from wasp venom, accelerates guanine nucleotide exchange and GTPase activity of purified GTP-binding proteins. In the present study we have examined the functional consequences of exposure of intact human platelets to mastoparan. Mastoparan promoted rapid (less than or equal to 1 min) dose-dependent increases in 5-hydroxy[14C]tryptamine and beta-thromboglobulin release from dense-granule and alpha-granule populations respectively. The exocytotic response did not result from a lytic effect of mastoparan and occurred in the complete absence of platelet shape change and aggregation. Liberation of [3H]arachidonate and increases in cytosolic [Ca2+] (detected with fura 2) were not observed in platelets stimulated with mastoparan. Similarly, in platelets preloaded with [3H]inositol during reversible electroporation, mastoparan did not cause the accumulation of [3H]inositol phosphates. Mastoparan-induced secretion was unaffected by preincubation with either the protein kinase C inhibitor staurosporine (10 nM-10 microM) or prostacyclin (PGI2; 100 ng/ml) and was not accompanied by phosphorylation of the 45 kDa protein kinase C substrate or the 20 kDa protein normally associated with platelet activation. The G-protein inhibitor guanosine 5′-[beta-thio]diphosphate (GDP[S]; 1 mM) attenuated the secretion induced by mastoparan in both intact and saponin-permeabilized platelets. Encapsulation of GDP[S] during reversible permeabilization inhibited mastoparan-induced secretion, providing evidence for an intracellular action of GDP[S]. In all these studies thrombin (0.05-0.2 unit/ml) elicited characteristic responses, and thrombin-induced secretion was inhibited by staurosporine, PGI2 and GDP[S]. Mastoparan also increased intra-platelet cyclic AMP in a dose-dependent manner. Mastoparan and PGI2 increased 32P incorporation into a protein of approx. 24 kDa, whereas phosphorylation of a 50 kDa substrate was only seen in PGI2-stimulated platelets. These results indicate that mastoparan promotes secretion by a mechanism which does not involve stimulation of phospholipase C and suggest that the secretory event may result either from a direct fusogenic action of mastoparan and/or from stimulation of the putative exocytosis-linked G-protein, Ge.