The WAVE2/Abi1 complex differentially regulates megakaryocyte development and spreading: implications for platelet biogenesis and spreading machinery.
Actin polymerization is crucial in throm-bopoiesis, platelet adhesion, and mega-karyocyte (MK) and platelet spreading. The Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) homolog WAVE functions downstream of Rac and plays a pivotal role in lamellipodia formation. While MKs and platelets principally express WAVE1 and WAVE2, which are associated with Abi1, the physiologic significance of WAVE isoforms remains undefined. We generated WAVE2(-/-) embryonic stem (ES) cells because WAVE2-null mice die by embryonic day (E) 12.5. We found that while WAVE2(-/-) ES cells differentiated into immature MKs on OP9 stroma, they were severely impaired in terminal differentiation and in platelet production. WAVE2(-/-) MKs exhibited a defect in peripheral lamellipodia on fibrinogen even with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) costimulation, indicating a requirement of WAVE2 for integrin alpha(IIb)beta(3)-mediated full spreading. MKs in which expression of Abi1 was reduced by small interfering RNA (siRNA) exhibited striking similarity to WAVE2(-/-) MKs in maturation and spreading. Interestingly, the knockdown of IRSp53, a Rac effector that preferentially binds to WAVE2, impaired the development of lamellipodia without affecting proplatelet production. In contrast, thrombopoiesis in vivo and platelet spreading on fibrinogen in vitro were intact in WAVE1-null mice. These observations clarify indispensable roles for the WAVE2/Abi1 complex in alpha(IIb)beta(3)-mediated lamellipodia by MKs and platelets through Rac and IRSp53, and additionally in thrombopoiesis independent of Rac and IRSp53.