Previous studies by Roth & Majerus [J. Clin. Invest. (1975) 56, 624-632] showed that exposure of platelets to [acetyl-14C]aspirin resulted in the radioactive labelling of three polypeptides, two of which were in the cytosol and not saturable, whilst the third was located in particulate material, and was saturated at 30 microM-aspirin. By using high voltage free flow electrophoresis to separate a platelet mixed membrane fraction into highly purified surface and intracellular membrane subfractions, we have confirmed that the major polypeptide acetylated after exposing whole platelets to [acetyl-14C]aspirin is almost exclusively associated with intracellular membrane structures. We have shown previously that these intracellular membranes are the major site for prostanoid biosynthesis [Carey, Menashi & Crawford (1982) Biochem. J. 204, 847-851] and in the present study the extent of the radioactive labelling correlated well with inhibition of the cyclo-oxygenase activity in these intracellular membranes. In sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis the [14C]acetylated component, which appears to be a dimer, migrates with a mobility corresponding to 72kDa. Although cyclo-oxygenase is inhibited, there is no discernible radioactive labelling when the platelets are exposed to aromatic-ring-labelled [14C]aspirin. We suggest that the site or sites for aspirin acetylation and cyclo-oxygenase activity are structurally associated in the platelet's intracellular membranes referred to by electron microscopists as the dense tubular membrane system.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.