1. Under optimal ionic conditions (4 mM-MnCl2) the specific activity of guanylate cyclase in fresh platelet lysates was about 10nmol of cyclic GMP formed/20 min per mg of protein at 30 degrees C. Activity was 15% of optimum with 10mM-MgCl2 and negligible with 4mM-CaCl2. Synergism between MnCl2 and MgCl2 or CaCl2 was observed when [MnCl2] less than or equal to [GPT]. 2. Lower than optimal specific activities were obtained in assays containing large volumes of platelet lysate, owing to the presence of inhibitory factors that could be removed by ultrafiltration. Adenine nucleotides accounted for less than 50% of the inhibitory activity. 3. Preincubation of lysate for 1 h at 30 degrees C increased the specific activity of platelet guanylate cyclase by about 2-fold. 4. Lubrol PX (1%, w/v) stimulated guanylate cyclase activity by 3–5-fold before preincubation and by about 2-fold after preincubation. Triton X-100 was much less effective. 5. Dithiothreitol inhibited the guanylate cyclase activity of untreated, preincubated and Lubrol PX-treated lysates and prevented activation by preincubation provided that it was added beforehand. 6. Oleate stimulated guanylate cyclase activity 3–4-fold and arachidonate 2–3-fold, whereas palmitate was almost inactive. Pretreatment of lysate with indomethacin did not inhibit this effect of arachidonate. Oleate and arachidonate caused marked stimulation of guanylate cyclase in preincubated lysate, but inhibited the enzyme in Lubrol PX-treated lysate. 7. NaN3 (10mM) increased guanylate cyclase activity by up to 7-fold; this effect was both time- and temperature-dependent. NaN3 did not further activate the enzyme in Lubrol PX-treated lysate. 8. The results indicated that preincubation, Lubrol PX, fatty acids and NaN3 activated platelet guanylate cyclase by different mechanisms. 9. Platelet particulate fractions contained no guanylate cyclase activity detectable in the presence or absence of Lubrol PX that could not be accounted for by contaminating soluble enzyme, suggesting that physiological aggregating agents may increase cyclic GMP in intact platelets through the effects of intermediary factors. The activated and inhibited states of the enzyme described in the present paper may be relevant to the actions of these factors.

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