Opposing roles of GSK3 and GSK3 phosphorylation in platelet function and thrombosis.

Samantha Frances Moore, Ejaife O Agbani, J A Wersall, Alastair W Poole, Christopher M Williams , Xiaojuan Zhao, Yong Li, J L Hutchinson, Roger W Hunter, Ingeborg Hers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


One of the mechanisms by which PI3 kinase can regulate platelet function is through phosphorylation of downstream substrates, including glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) and GSK3. Platelet activation results in the phosphorylation of an N-terminal serine residue in GSK3 (Ser21) and GSK3(Ser9), which competitively inhibits substrate phosphorylation. However, the role of phosphorylation of these paralogs is still largely unknown. Here we employed GSK3/ phosphorylation-resistant mouse models to explore the role of this inhibitory phosphorylation in regulating platelet activation. Expression of phosphorylation-resistant GSK3α/β reduced thrombin-mediated platelet aggregation, integrin αIIbβ3 activation, and α-granule secretion, whereas platelet responses to the GPVI agonist collagen-related peptide (CRP-XL) were significantly enhanced. GSK3 single knock-in lines revealed that this divergence is due to differential roles of GSK3α and GSK3β phosphorylation in regulating platelet function. Expression of phosphorylation-resistant GSK3α resulted in enhanced GPVI-mediated platelet activation, whereas expression of phosphorylation-resistant GSK3β resulted in a reduction in PAR-mediated platelet activation and impaired in vitro thrombus formation under flow. Interestingly, the latter was normalised in double GSK3α/β KI mice, indicating that GSK3α KI can compensate for the impairment in thrombosis caused by GSK3β KI. In conclusion, our data indicate that GSK3α and GSK3β have differential roles in regulating platelet function.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Sep 2021


  • GSK3; PI3 kinase; Akt; integrin activation; P-selectin expression; thrombosis; knock-in mouse models; p110β; phosphorylation.


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