Cysteine sulfenylation by CD36 signaling promotes arterial thrombosis in dyslipidemia

Blood Adv. 2020 Sep 22;4(18):4494-4507. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001609.


Arterial thrombosis in the setting of dyslipidemia promotes clinically significant events, including myocardial infarction and stroke. Oxidized lipids in low-density lipoproteins (oxLDL) are a risk factor for athero-thrombosis and are recognized by platelet scavenger receptor CD36. oxLDL binding to CD36 promotes platelet activation and thrombosis by promoting generation of reactive oxygen species. The downstream signaling events initiated by reactive oxygen species in this setting are poorly understood. In this study, we report that CD36 signaling promotes hydrogen peroxide flux in platelets. Using carbon nucleophiles that selectively and covalently modify cysteine sulfenic acids, we found that hydrogen peroxide generated through CD36 signaling promotes cysteine sulfenylation of platelet proteins. Specifically, cysteines were sulfenylated on Src family kinases, which are signaling transducers that are recruited to CD36 upon recognition of its ligands. Cysteine sulfenylation promoted activation of Src family kinases and was prevented by using a blocking antibody to CD36 or by enzymatic degradation of hydrogen peroxide. CD36-mediated platelet aggregation and procoagulant phosphatidylserine externalization were inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner by a panel of sulfenic acid-selective carbon nucleophiles. At the same concentrations, these probes did not inhibit platelet aggregation induced by the purinergic receptor agonist adenosine diphosphate or the collagen receptor glycoprotein VI agonist collagen-related peptide. Selective modification of cysteine sulfenylation in vivo with a benzothiazine-based nucleophile rescued the enhanced arterial thrombosis seen in dyslipidemic mice back to control levels. These findings suggest that CD36 signaling generates hydrogen peroxide to oxidize cysteines within platelet proteins, including Src family kinases, and lowers the threshold for platelet activation in dyslipidemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD36 Antigens
  • Cysteine
  • Dyslipidemias*
  • Mice
  • Platelet Activation
  • Thrombosis*


  • CD36 Antigens
  • Cd36 protein, mouse
  • Cysteine