An essential role for α4A-tubulin in platelet biogenesis

Catherine Strassel, Maria M. Magiera, Arnaud Dupuis, Morgane Batzenschlager, Agnès Hovasse, Irina Pleines, Paul Guéguen, Anita Eckly, Sylvie Moog, Léa Mallo, Quentin Kimmerlin, Stéphane Chappaz, Jean Marc Strub, Natarajan Kathiresan, Henri de la Salle, Alain Van Dorsselaer, Claude Ferec, Jean-Yves Py, Christian Gachet, Christine Schaeffer-ReissBenjamin T Kile, Carsten Janke, François Lanza

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17 Citations (Scopus)


During platelet biogenesis, microtubules (MTs) are arranged into submembranous structures (the marginal band) that encircle the cell in a single plane. This unique MT array has no equivalent in any other mammalian cell, and the mechanisms responsible for this particular mode of assembly are not fully understood. One possibility is that platelet MTs are composed of a particular set of tubulin isotypes that carry specific posttranslational modifications. Although β1-tubulin is known to be essential, no equivalent roles of α-tubulin isotypes in platelet formation or function have so far been reported. Here, we identify α4A-tubulin as a predominant α-tubulin isotype in platelets. Similar to β1-tubulin, α4A-tubulin expression is up-regulated during the late stages of megakaryocyte differentiation. Missense mutations in the α4A-tubulin gene cause macrothrombocytopenia in mice and humans. Defects in α4A-tubulin lead to changes in tubulin tyrosination status of the platelet tubulin pool. Ultrastructural defects include reduced numbers and misarranged MT coils in the platelet marginal band. We further observed defects in megakaryocyte maturation and proplatelet formation in Tuba4a-mutant mice. We have, thus, discovered an α-tubulin isotype with specific and essential roles in platelet biogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere201900309
Number of pages13
JournalLife Science Alliance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

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