TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 4 (TRAF4) is a novel binding partner of glycoprotein Ib and glycoprotein VI in human platelets.

Background: Reactive oxygen species generation is one consequence of ligand engagement of platelet glycoprotein (GP) receptors GPIb-IX-V and GPVI, which bind VWF/collagen and initiate thrombosis at arterial shear, however the precise molecular mechanism coupling redox pathway activation to engagement of these receptors is unknown. Objective: The objective of this study was to identify novel binding partners for GPIb-IX-V and GPVI that could provide a potential link between redox pathways and early platelet signalling events. Methods and Results: Using protein array analysis and affinity-binding assays, we demonstrated that the orphan TNF receptor-associated factor (TRAF) family member, TRAF4, selectively binds cytoplasmic sequences of GPIbβ and GPVI. TRAF4, p47(phox) (of the NADPH oxidase (Nox2) enzyme complex), and other redox relevant signalling proteins such as Hic-5, co-immunoprecipitate with GPIb/GPVI from human platelet lysates whilst MBP-TRAF4 or MBP-p47(phox) fusion proteins specifically pull-down GPIb/GPVI. GPIb- or GPVI-selective agonists induce phosphorylation of the TRAF4-associated proteins, Hic-5 and Pyk2, with phosphorylation attenuated by Nox2 inhibition. Conclusion: These results describe the first direct association of TRAF4 with a receptor, and identify a novel binding partner for GPIb-IX-V and GPVI, providing a potential link between these platelet receptors and downstream TRAF4/Nox2-dependent redox pathways.