Thioredoxin inhibitors attenuate platelet function and thrombus formation

Clive Metcalfe, Anjana Ramasubramoni, Giordano Pula, Matthew T Harper, Stuart J Mundell, Carmen H Coxon

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Abstract

Thioredoxin (Trx) is an oxidoreductase with important physiological function. Imbalances in the NADPH/thioredoxin reductase/thioredoxin system are associated with a number of pathologies, particularly cancer, and a number of clinical trials for thioredoxin and thioredoxin reductase inhibitors have been carried out or are underway. Due to the emerging role and importance of oxidoreductases for haemostasis and the current interest in developing inhibitors for clinical use, we thought it pertinent to assess whether inhibition of the NADPH/thioredoxin reductase/thioredoxin system affects platelet function and thrombosis. We used small molecule inhibitors of Trx (PMX 464 and PX-12) to determine whether Trx activity influences platelet function, as well as an unbiased proteomics approach to identify potential Trx substrates on the surface of platelets that might contribute to platelet reactivity and function. Using LC-MS/MS we found that PMX 464 and PX-12 affected the oxidation state of thiols in a number of cell surface proteins. Key surface receptors for platelet adhesion and activation were affected, including the collagen receptor GPVI and the von Willebrand factor receptor, GPIb. To experimentally validate these findings we assessed platelet function in the presence of PMX 464, PX-12, and rutin (a selective inhibitor of the related protein disulphide isomerase). In agreement with the proteomics data, small molecule inhibitors of thioredoxin selectively inhibited GPVI-mediated platelet activation, and attenuated ristocetin-induced GPIb-vWF-mediated platelet agglutination, thus validating the findings of the proteomics study. These data reveal a novel role for thioredoxin in regulating platelet reactivity via proteins required for early platelet responses at sites of vessel injury (GPVI and GPIb). This work also highlights a potential opportunity for repurposing of PMX 464 and PX-12 as antiplatelet agents.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0163006
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2016

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    Metcalfe, C., Ramasubramoni, A., Pula, G., Harper, M. T., Mundell, S. J., & Coxon, C. H. (2016). Thioredoxin inhibitors attenuate platelet function and thrombus formation. PLoS ONE, 11(10), [e0163006]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0163006