Mechanisms of organelle transport and capture along proplatelets during platelet production

Blood. 2005 Dec 15;106(13):4066-75. doi: 10.1182/blood-2005-06-2206. Epub 2005 Aug 23.


Megakaryocytes generate platelets by remodeling their cytoplasm into long proplatelet extensions, which serve as assembly lines for platelet production. Platelet packaging and release concludes at the tips of each proplatelet. Essential in this process is the distribution of organelles and platelet-specific granules into the nascent platelets. To investigate the mechanism of delivery of organelles into putative platelets, the distribution and dynamics of organelles/granules was monitored. Individual organelles are sent from the cell body to the proplatelets where they move bidirectionally until they are captured at proplatelet ends. Movement occurs at approximately 0.2 microm/min, but pauses and changes in direction are frequent. At any given time, approximately 30% of organelles/granules are in motion. Actin poisons do not diminish organelle motion, and vesicular structures are intimately associated with the microtubules. Therefore, movement appears to involve microtubule-based forces. Bidirectional organelle movement is conveyed by the bipolar organization of microtubules within the proplatelet, as kinesin-coated beads move bidirectionally on the microtubule arrays of permeabilized proplatelets. Movement of organelles along proplatelets involves 2 mechanisms: organelles travel along microtubules, and the linked microtubules move relative to each other. These studies demonstrate that the components that form platelets are delivered to and assembled de novo along proplatelets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets / cytology*
  • Blood Platelets / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Movement
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Organelles / metabolism*


  • Actins