Background: Variation in platelet reactivity contributes to disorders of hemostasis and thrombosis, but the molecular mechanisms are not well understood.
Objectives: To discover associations between interindividual platelet variability and the responsible platelet genes, and to begin to define the molecular mechanisms altering platelet gene expression.
Subjects/methods: Two hundred and eighty-eight healthy subjects were phenotyped for platelet responsiveness. Platelet RNA from subjects demonstrating hyperreactivity (n=18) and hyporeactivity (n=11) was used to screen the human transcriptome.
Results: Distinctly different mRNA profiles were observed between subjects with differing platelet reactivity. Increased levels of mRNA for VAMP8/endobrevin, a critical v-SNARE involved in platelet granule secretion, were associated with platelet hyperreactivity (Q=0.0275). Validation studies of microarray results showed 4.8-fold higher mean VAMP8 mRNA levels in hyperreactive than hyporeactive platelets (P=0.0023). VAMP8 protein levels varied 13-fold among platelets from these normal subjects, and were 2.5-fold higher in hyperreactive platelets (P=0.05). Among our cohort of 288 subjects, a VAMP8 single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs1010) was associated with platelet reactivity in an age-dependent manner (P<0.003). MicroRNA-96 was predicted to bind to the 3'-untranslated regionof VAMP8 mRNA and was detected in platelets. Overexpression of microRNA-96 in VAMP8-expressing cell lines caused a dose-dependent decrease in VAMP8 protein and mRNA, suggesting a role in VAMP8 mRNA degradation.
Conclusions: These findings support a role for VAMP8/endobrevin in the heterogeneity of platelet reactivity, and suggest a role for microRNA-96 in the regulation of VAMP8 expression.