Thrombin inhibits adenylate cyclase and stimulates GTP hydrolysis by high-affinity GTPase(s) in membranes of human platelets at almost identical concentrations. Both of these thrombin actions are similar to those observed with agonist-activated alpha 2-adrenoceptors coupling to the inhibitory guanine nucleotide-binding protein N1. However, stimulation of GTP hydrolysis caused by adrenaline (alpha 2-adrenoceptor agonist) and by thrombin at maximally effective concentrations was partially additive, whereas with regard to adenylate cyclase inhibition no additive response was observed. Furthermore, treatment of platelet membranes with pertussis toxin, which inactivates Ni and largely abolishes thrombin- and adrenaline-induced adenylate cyclase inhibition and adrenaline-induced GTPase stimulation, decreased the thrombin-induced stimulation of GTP hydrolysis by only about 30%. Additionally, the thiol reagent N-ethylmalemide (NEM) at rather low concentrations abolished thrombin- and adrenaline-induced stimulation of GTP hydrolysis was decreased by only 30-40% by treatment of platelet membranes with even high concentrations of NEM. Treatment with cholera toxin, which inhibits GTPase activity of the Ns (stimulatory guanine nucleotide-binding) protein, has no effect on thrombin-stimulated GTP hydrolysis. The data suggest that thrombin interaction with its receptor sites in platelet membranes leads to stimulation of two GTP-hydrolysing enzymes. One of these enzymes is apparently Ni and is also activated by agonist-activated alpha 2-adrenoceptors and is inactivated by pertussis toxin and NEM treatment. The other GTP-hydrolysing enzyme activated by thrombin may represent a guanine nucleotide-binding protein apparently involved in the coupling of thrombin receptors to the phosphoinositide phosphodiesterase.

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