The platelet release reaction: Just when you thought platelet secretion was simple

Qiansheng Ren, Shaojing Ye, Sidney W. Whiteheart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Purpose of review In response to agonists produced at vascular lesions, platelets release a host of components from their three granules: dense core, alpha, and lysosome. This releasate activates other platelets, promotes wound repair, and initiates inflammatory responses. Although widely accepted, the specific mechanisms underlying platelet secretion are only now coming to light. This review focuses on the core machinery required for platelet secretion. Recent findings Proteomic analyses have provided a catalog of the components released from activated platelets. Experiments using a combination of in-vitro secretion assays and knockout mice have led to assignments of both vesicle-soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptor (v-SNARE) and target membrane SNARE to each of the three secretion events. SNARE knockout mice are also proving to be useful models for probing the role of platelet exocytosis in vivo. Other studies are beginning to identify SNARE regulators, which control when and where SNAREs interact during platelet activation. A complex set of protein-protein interactions control the membrane fusion events required for the platelet release reaction. SNARE proteins are the core elements but the proteins that control SNARE interactions represent key points at which platelet signaling cascades could affect secretion and thrombosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-541
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Hematology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Exocytosis
  • Soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptors
  • Syntaxin
  • Vesicle-associated membrane protein 8/endobrevin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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