Nonmuscle myosin II has been implicated in regulation of von Willebrand factor (VWF) release from endothelial Weibel-Palade bodies (WPBs), but the specific role of myosin IIa isoform is poorly defined. Here, we report that myosin IIa is expressed both in primary human endothelial cells and intact mouse vessels, essential for cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-mediated endothelial VWF secretion. Downregulation of myosin IIa by shRNAs significantly suppressed both forskolin- and epinephrine-induced VWF secretion. Endothelium-specific myosin IIa knockout mice exhibited impaired epinephrine-stimulated VWF release, prolonged bleeding time, and thrombosis. Further study showed that in resting cells, myosin IIa deficiency disrupted the peripheral localization of Rab27-positive WPBs along stress fibers; on stimulation by cAMP agonists, myosin IIa in synergy with zyxin promotes the formation of a functional actin framework, which is derived from preexisting cortical actin filaments, around WPBs, facilitating fusion and subsequent exocytosis. In summary, our findings not only identify new functions of myosin IIa in regulation of WPB positioning and the interaction between preexisting cortical actin filaments and exocytosing vesicles before fusion but also reveal myosin IIa as a physiological regulator of endothelial VWF secretion in stress-induced hemostasis and thrombosis.
Thrombosis and Hemostasis, Vascular Biology