Thrombin stimulation of human endothelial cell phospholipase D activity. Regulation by phospholipase C, protein kinase C, and cyclic adenosine 3′5′-monophosphate

J. G.N. Garcia, J. W. Fenton, V. Natarajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


The activation of membrane-bound phospholipase D (PLD) resulting in the generation of phosphatidic acid (PA) is increasingly recognized as an integral event in the initiation of a variety of cellular responses. We explored whether α-thrombin is a physiologic agonist for PLD activation in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). HUVEC monolayers were labeled with [32Pi] and PLD activity determined by formation of the PLD metabolite [32P] phosphatidylethanol (PEt) in the presence of 5 g/L ethanol by thin-layer chromatography. α-Thrombin rapidly (1 minute) increased PA and PEt formation in a dose-dependent manner (10-6 to 10-10) with maximal PLD stimulation achieved with 10 nmol/L α-thrombin producing a threefold to fourfold increase in PA and a sixfold to eightfold increase in PEt over controls at 15 minutes. Esterolytically active ζ-thrombin (10 nmol/L) and γ-thrombin (1 μmol/L), but not inactive DIP-α-thrombin (1 μmol/L) also increased PLD activity. The role of Ca2+ flux in human endothelial cell PLD activation was investigated and PEt formation was significantly enhanced by Ca2+ ionophores A23187 and ionomycin (1 μmol/L, three-fold to fourfold increase in PEt). α-Thrombin-stimulated PEt formation was abolished (>90% inhibition) with chelation of intracellular calcium (Cai2+) by pretreatment with BAPTA-AM (25 μmol/L, 30 minutes) but only mildly attenuated (30% inhibition) by removal of extracellular calcium (CaE2+) with EGTA (5 mmol/L). The protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor staurosporine reduced α-thrombin-induced PEt formation in a dose-dependent manner (10 μmol/L, 78% inhibition) and PKC downregulation with chronic PMA treatment (18 hours) also resulted in marked inhibition of α-thrombin-induced PEt formation. Neither pertussis nor botulinum C bacterial toxins significantly altered α-thrombin-induced PLD responses. In contrast, similar pretreatment with cholera toxin (1 μg/mL, 60 minutes) consistently augmented α-thrombin-stimulated PLD activity by 50% to 90%. Comparable results were observed with agents which increased cAMP such as forskolin, 8-bromo cAMP, or dibutyryl cAMP and cholera toxin augmentation was abolished by 2-dideoxyadenosine, a competitive inhibitor of adenylyl cyclase activity. These studies demonstrate that α-thrombin is a potent stimulus for human PLD-mediated PA formation and that cyclic adenosine nucleotides modulate agonist-induced cellular PLD activity. In this model of PLD activation, α-thrombin receptor occupancy leads to the breakdown of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate catalyzed by phospholipase C producing the Ca2+ secretagogue IP3 and DAG. This increase in PLC activity resulting in elevated [Cai2+] and PKC translocation and activation is required for the coupling of the thrombin receptor to phospholipid hydrolysis by PLD. Thrombin-stimulated PA formation catalyzed by PLD and subsequent DAG production represents an important and heretofore unrecognized pathway of thrombin-induced signal transduction in human endothelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2056-2067
Number of pages12
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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