Human platelets are released from the cytoplasm of megakaryocytes and average 2-3 μm in diameter. In response to vascular injury, platelets stick together like glue, seal the wounded area, and dispense their contents into the nearby milieu. Taken at face value, these features and functions seem simplistic and unrefined. As one digs deeper, however, it becomes apparent that platelets are intricately wired and created for multifunctional purposes. One of their duties, which cropped up over the last decade, is to synthesize proteins both continually and on demand. It turns out that platelets possess thousands of template mRNAs, ribosomes, and requisite translational machinery that they use to generate new proteins. Platelets also retain tools that grant them the ability to process precursor mRNAs and microRNAs. In this review, we briefly describe what we currently know about protein synthesis in platelets, its functional significance, and where the field is likely to take us over the next decade.
Keywords: mRNA, platelets, protein synthesis, ribosomes, splicing, translation, synthetic pathways, megakaryocytes, thrombopoiesis, mechanisms, Leukocytes, glycoprotein
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