Structural analysis of receptors and actin polarity in platelet protrusions

Simona Sorrentino, Jose Javier Conesa, Ana Cuervo, Roberto Melero, Bruno Martins, Estrella Fernandez-Gimenez, Federico P. De Isidro-Gomez, Jimenez De la Morena, Jan Dirk Studt, Carlos Oscar S. Sorzano, Matthias Eibauer, Jose Maria Carazo, Ohad Medalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


During activation the platelet cytoskeleton is reorganized, inducing adhesion to the extracellular matrix and cell spreading. These processes are critical for wound healing and clot formation. Initially, this task relies on the formation of strong cellular-extracellular matrix interactions, exposed in subendothelial lesions. Despite the medical relevance of these processes, there is a lack of high-resolution structural information on the platelet cytoskeleton controlling cell spreading and adhesion. Here, we present in situ structural analysis of membrane receptors and the underlying cytoskeleton in platelet protrusions by applying cryoelectron tomography to intact platelets. We utilized three-dimensional averaging procedures to study receptors at the plasma membrane. Analysis of substrate interaction-free receptors yielded one main structural class resolved to 26 Å, resembling the αIIbβ3 integrin folded conformation. Furthermore, structural analysis of the actin network in pseudopodia indicates a nonuniform polarity of filaments. This organization would allow generation of the contractile forces required for integrin-mediated cell adhesion.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2105004118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number37
StatePublished - 14 Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Actin
  • Cryoelectron tomography
  • Platelets
  • Receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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