The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) plays a key role in Ca2+ signalling through Ca2+ release via inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (InsP3-Rs) and Ca2+ uptake by sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPases (SERCAs). Here, we investigated the organization of platelet ER and its biogenesis during megakaryocytopoiesis. First, erythro/megakaryoblastic MEG 01, UT7, M-O7e and CHRF 288-11 cell lines, platelets and thrombopoietin-induced UT7-Mpl cells were selected for the study of SERCA2b and SERCA3 proteins by Western blotting using the antibodies IID8 and PL/IM430, respectively. As judged by platelet glycoprotein IIIa (GPIIIa) expression, an increase in SERCA3 proteins was observed while that of SERCA2b remained unchanged throughout maturation. Second, these studies were extended to the newly described alternatively spliced SERCA3a–c RNAs and InsP3-Rs using the in vitro model of PMA-induced differentiation of MEG 01 cells. Time-course and dose–response studies showed a maximal approx. 4-fold up-regulation of SERCA3 proteins using 10-8 M PMA for 3 days, which paralleled induction of GPIIIa expression. SERCA3 induction was found to occur at the level of mRNA. The modulation of the different SERCA3 species (i.e. 3a, 3b and 3c) was isoform-specific: while SERCA3a was slightly increased, an approx. 3-fold induction of SERCA3b, and a 4-fold induction of SERCA3c, was observed after 24h of PMA treatment. Isoform-specific Western blotting and/or reverse transcriptase PCR studies showed that InsP3-R types I, II and III are expressed in MEG 01 cells, as well as in platelets. Study of the expression of these InsP3-R types in PMA-induced MEG 01 cells revealed that: (i) InsP3-RI protein and mRNA showed no changes; (ii) InsP3-RII mRNA was up-regulated and peaked at hour 48 and (iii) InsP3-RIII mRNA and protein showed a transitory maximal 3- and 2.3-fold increase at hours 6 and 30, respectively. Upon PMA treatment of CHRF 288-11 cells, in which GPIIIa is not induced upon treatment, a similar pattern of regulation of InsP3-R types II and III was seen, but a distinct pattern of SERCA3 regulation was observed. These results suggest a profound reorganization of ER-protein patterns during megakaryocytopoiesis and underline the role of SERCA3 gene regulation in the control of Ca2+-dependent platelet functions.

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