Platelets regulate vascular integrity by secreting a host of molecules that promote hemostasis and its sequelae. Given the importance of platelet exocytosis, it is critical to understand how it is controlled. The t-SNAREs, SNAP-23 and syntaxin-11, lack classical transmembrane domains (TMDs), yet both are associated with platelet membranes and redistributed into cholesterol-dependent lipid rafts when platelets are activated. Using metabolic labeling and hydroxylamine (HA)/HCl treatment, we showed that both contain thioester-linked acyl groups. Mass spectrometry mapping further showed that syntaxin-11 was modified on cysteine 275, 279, 280, 282, 283, and 285, and SNAP-23 was modified on cysteine 79, 80, 83, 85, and 87. Interestingly, metabolic labeling studies showed incorporation of [3H]palmitate into the t-SNAREs increased although the protein levels were unchanged, suggesting that acylation turns over on the two t-SNAREs in resting platelets. Exogenously added fatty acids did compete with [3H]palmitate for t-SNARE labeling. To determine the effects of acylation, we measured aggregation, ADP/ATP release, as well as P-selectin exposure in platelets treated with the acyltransferase inhibitor cerulenin or the thioesterase inhibitor palmostatin B. We found that cerulenin pretreatment inhibited t-SNARE acylation and platelet function in a dose- and time-dependent manner whereas palmostatin B had no detectable effect. Interestingly, pretreatment with palmostatin B blocked the inhibitory effects of cerulenin, suggesting that maintaining the acylation state is important for platelet function. Thus, our work shows that t-SNARE acylation is actively cycling in platelets and suggests that the enzymes regulating protein acylation could be potential targets to control platelet exocytosis in vivo.

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Published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, v. 293, no. 10, p. 3593-3606.

This research was originally published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Jinchao Zhang, Yunjie Huang, Jing Chen, Haining Zhu, and Sidney W. Whiteheart. Dynamic Cycling of t-SNARE Acylation Regulates Platelet Exocytosis. J. Biol. Chem. 2018; 293:3593-3606. © 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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This work was supported by NHLBI, National Institutes of Health Grants HL56652 and HL138179; American Heart Association Grant-in-Aid AHA16GRNT27620001; and Veterans Affairs Merit Award (to S. W. W.). This study was also supported in part by NIGMS, National Institutes of Health Grant P30GM110787.