Coagulation initiation by tissue factor (TF) is regulated by cellular inhibitors, cell surface availability of procoagulant phosphatidylserine, and thiol-disulfide exchange. How these mechanisms contribute to keeping TF in a noncoagulant state and to generating prothrombotic TF remain incompletely understood.Approach and Results—
Here, we study the activation of TF in primary macrophages by a combination of pharmacological, genetic, and biochemical approaches. We demonstrate that primed macrophages effectively control TF cell surface activity by receptor internalization. After cell injury, ATP signals through the purinergic receptor P2rx7 induce release of TF+ microvesicles. TF cell surface availability for release onto microvesicles is regulated by the GTPase arf6 associated with integrin α4β1. Furthermore, microvesicles proteome analysis identifies activation of Gαi2 as a participating factor in the release of microvesicles with prothrombotic activity in flowing blood. ATP not only prevents TF and phosphatidylserine internalization but also induces TF conversion to a conformation with high affinity for its ligand, coagulation factor VII. Although inhibition of dynamin-dependent internalization also exposes outer membrane procoagulant phosphatidylserine, the resulting TF+ microvesicles distinctly lack protein disulfide isomerase and high affinity TF and fail to produce fibrin strands typical for microvesicles generated by thrombo-inflammatory P2rx7 activation.Conclusions—
These data show that procoagulant phospholipid exposure is not sufficient and that TF affinity maturation is required to generate prothrombotic microvesicles from a variety of cell types. These findings are significant for understanding TF-initiated thrombosis and should be considered in designing functional microvesicles-based diagnostic approaches.