To study the mechanism of granule centralization in platelets, we permeabilized with saponin in either EGTA (5 mM) or calcium (1 or 10 microM). Under all conditions, platelets retained 40-50% of their total actin and greater than 70% of their actin-binding protein (ABP) but lost greater than 80% of talin and myosin to the supernatant. Thin sections of platelets permeabilized in EGTA showed a microfilament network under the residual plasma membrane and throughout the cytoplasm. Platelets permeabilized in calcium contained a microfilament shell partly separated from the residual membrane. The shell stained brightly for F-actin. A less dense microfilament shell was also seen in sections of ADP-stimulated intact platelets subsequently permeabilized in EGTA. In the presence of 1 mM ATP gamma S and calcium, myosin was retained (70%) and was localized by indirect immunofluorescence in bright central spots that also stained intensely for F-actin. Electron micrographs showed centralized granules surrounded by a closely packed mass of microfilaments much like the structures seen in thrombin-stimulated intact platelets subsequently permeabilized in EGTA. Permeabilization in calcium, ATP, and okadaic acid, produced the same configuration of centralized granules and packed microfilaments; myosin was retained and the myosin regulatory light chain became phosphorylated. Microtubule coil disassembly before permeabilization did not inhibit granule centralization. These results suggest a possible mechanism for granule centralization in these models. The cytoskeletal network first separates from some of its connections to the plasma membrane by a calcium-dependent mechanism not involving ABP proteolysis. Phosphorylated myosin interacts with the microfilaments to contract the shell moving the granules to the platelet's center.

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