The protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTPase) inhibitor pervanadate (vanadyl hydroperoxide) stimulated protein tyrosine phosphorylation 29-fold more than did thrombin in intact and saponin-permeabilized platelets. Increased tyrosine phosphorylation preceded, or was coincident with, a fall in PtdIns(4,5)P2 levels, production of PtdIns(3,4)P2 and phosphatidic acid, mobilization of intracellular Ca2+, stimulation of protein kinase C-dependent protein phosphorylation, secretion of dense and alpha-granules, increased actin polymerization, shape change and aggregation which required fibrinogen and was mediated by increased surface expression of GPIIb-IIIa. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor RG 50864 totally prevented induction of tyrosine phosphorylation by pervanadate, as well as all other responses measured; in contrast, the inactive structural analogue, tyrphostin #1, had no effect. Dense-granule secretion induced by pervanadate required protein kinase C activity; however, aggregation and alpha-granule secretion were independent of protein kinase C. In saponin-permeabilized platelets pervanadate and thrombin stimulated phospholipase C activity by GTP-independent and GTP-dependent mechanisms respectively. We conclude that PTPases are important regulators of signal transduction in platelets.

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