Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

cGMP signaling inhibits platelet shape change through regulation of the RhoA-Rho Kinase-MLC phosphatase signaling pathway

Aburima, A.; Walladbegi, K.; Wake, J. D.; Naseem, K. M.


K. Walladbegi

J. D. Wake

K. M. Naseem


Platelet shape change requires cytoskeletal rearrangement via myosin‐mediated actin contraction.
We investigated whether nitric oxide (NO) affected thrombin‐induced platelet shape change.
NO inhibits shape change, RhoA/ROCK signalling and myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation.
NO promotes MLC phosphatase activity, thus prevents MLC phosphorylation and shape change.
Platelet shape change, spreading and thrombus stability require activation of the actin cytoskeleton contractile machinery. The mechanisms controlling actin assembly to prevent unwanted platelet activation are unclear.

We examined the effects of nitric oxide on the signaling pathways regulating platelet actin‐myosin activation.

S‐nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) inhibited thrombin‐induced platelet shape change and myosin phosphorylation of the myosin light chain (MLC). Because thrombin stimulates phospho‐MLC through the RhoA/ ROCK dependent inhibition of MLC phosphatase (MLCP) we examined the effects of NO on this pathway. Thrombin caused the GTP loading and activation of RhoA, leading to the ROCK‐mediated phosphorylation of MLCP on threonine 853 (thr853), which is known to inhibit phosphatase activity. Treatment of platelets with GSNO blocked ROCK‐mediated increases in phosphoMLCP‐thr853 induced by thrombin. This effect was mimicked by the direct activator of protein kinase G, 8‐pCPT‐PET‐cGMP, and blocked by the inhibition of guanylyl cyclase, but not inhibitors of protein kinase A. Further exploration of the mechanism demonstrated that GSNO stimulated the association of RhoA with protein kinase G (PKG) and the inhibitory phosphorylation (serine188) of RhoA in a cGMP‐dependent manner. Consistent with these observations, in vitro experiments revealed that recombinant PKG caused direct phosphorylation of RhoA. The inhibition of RhoA by GSNO prevented ROCK‐mediated phosphorylation and inhibition of MLCP activity.

These data suggest novel crosstalk between the NO‐cGMP‐PKG and RhoA/ROCK signaling pathways to control platelet actin remodeling.


Aburima, A., Walladbegi, K., Wake, J. D., & Naseem, K. M. (2017). cGMP signaling inhibits platelet shape change through regulation of the RhoA-Rho Kinase-MLC phosphatase signaling pathway. Journal of thrombosis and haemostasis : JTH, 15(8), 1668-1678.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 11, 2017
Online Publication Date Jul 18, 2017
Publication Date 2017-08
Deposit Date Feb 7, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 8, 2019
Journal Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Print ISSN 1538-7933
Electronic ISSN 1538-7836
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 8
Pages 1668-1678
Keywords Cyclic GMP; Myosin light chain phosphatase; Nitric oxide; Platelets; Protein kinase A; RhoA GTP-biding protein
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Feb 8, 2019


Published article (595 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2017 The Authors. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations