Role of Rho-GTPases in megakaryopoiesis
Megakaryocytes (MKs) are the bone marrow (BM) cells that generate blood platelets by a process that requires: i) polyploidization responsible for the increased MK size and ii) cytoplasmic organization leading to extension of long pseudopods, called proplatelets, through the endothelial barrier to allow platelet release into blood. Low level of localized RHOA activation prevents actomyosin accumulation at the cleavage furrow and participates in MK polyploidization. In the platelet production, RHOA and CDC42 play opposite, but complementary roles. RHOA inhibits both proplatelet formation and MK exit from BM, whereas CDC42 drives the development of the demarcation membranes and MK migration in BM. Moreover, the RhoA or Cdc42 MK specific knock-out in mice and the genetic alterations in their down-stream effectors in human induce a thrombocytopenia demonstrating their key roles in platelet production. A better knowledge of Rho-GTPase signalling is thus necessary to develop therapies for diseases associated with platelet production defects.