Histone deacetylase 6-mediated deacetylation of α-tubulin coordinates cytoskeletal and signaling events during platelet activation

Joseph E. Aslan, Kevin G. Phillips, Laura D. Healy, Asako Itakura, Jiaqing Pang, Owen J.T. McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The tubulin cytoskeleton plays a key role in maintaining the characteristic quiescent discoid shape of resting platelets. Upon activation, platelets undergo a dramatic change in shape; however, little is known of how the microtubule system contributes to regulating platelet shape and function. Here we investigated the role of the covalent modification of α-tubulin by acetylation in the regulation of platelet physiology during activation. Superresolution microscopy analysis of the platelet tubulin cytoskeleton showed that the marginal band together with an interconnected web of finer tubulin structures collapsed upon platelet activation with the glycoprotein VI (GPVI)-agonist collagen-related peptide (CRP). Western blot analysis revealed that α-tubulin was acetylated in resting platelets and deacetylated during platelet activation. Tubacin, a specific inhibitor of the tubulin deacetylase HDAC6, prevented tubulin deacetylation upon platelet activation with CRP. Inhibition of HDAC6 upregulated tubulin acetylation and disrupted the organization of the platelet microtubule marginal band without significantly affecting platelet volume changes in response to CRP stimulation. HDAC6 inhibitors also inhibited platelet aggregation in response to CRP and blocked platelet signaling events upstream of platelet Rho GTPase activation. Together, these findings support a role for acetylation signaling in controlling the resting structure of the platelet tubulin marginal band as well as in the coordination of signaling systems that drive platelet cytoskeletal changes and aggregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1230-C1239
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2013


  • Acetylation
  • HDAC6
  • Platelets
  • Tubulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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