Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS) is an X-linked hematopoietic disease that is characterized by immunodeficiency, eczema, and microthrombocytopenia. While our understanding of the role of WASP in regulating actin assembly at the level of the Arp2/3 complex and thus, cell movement has increased dramatically, the cause of the microthrombocytopenia observed in human WAS patients remains a mystery. Information derived 40 years ago established that WASP deficient platelets have markedly diminished survival times in the circulation compared to normal platelets, and before bone marrow transplantation became the therapy of choice, splenectomy was widely practiced as a partial cure for the thrombocytopenia of these patients. Recent studies in WASP and WIP knockout mice mimic the rapid clearance times of human WAS platelets and reveal them to be the key underlying defect, as functional tests of WASP null platelets by different groups have shown them to activate, secrete, and spread equally well as normal platelets. We have developed a systematic approach to define clearance mechanisms and have, thus far, identified two previously unrecognized clearance pathways that detect altered carbohydrate presentation on the platelet vWf receptor.
Aim 1 will delineate the receptor-mediated pathway(s) that recognize WASP-/- and WIP-/- platelets using both quantitative in vitro and in vivo systems to measure platelet removal and to study WASP-/- and WIP-/- platelet-phagocyte interactions.
Aim 2 will determine how the loss of the either the WASP or WIP protein leads to altered actin dynamics in platelets. It will also determine whether the accumulated loss of N-WASP in platelets leads to cytoskeletal defects.
Aim 3 will complement these clearance studies and investigate if diminished platelet production contributes to the disease state of WASP- /- and WIP-/- animals. Therefore, the proposed studies will inform us as to the mechanism(s) that prematurely remove WAS null platelets from the circulation and generate fundamental knowledge as to processes that normally function to remove senile and damaged platelets, as well as lead to strategies that will enhance both platelet biogenesis and survival.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Program Projects (P01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Heart, Lung, and Blood Initial Review Group (HLBP)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Children's Hospital Boston
United States
Zip Code
Garber, John J; Mallick, Emily M; Scanlon, Karen M et al. (2018) Attaching-and-Effacing Pathogens Exploit Junction Regulatory Activities of N-WASP and SNX9 to Disrupt the Intestinal Barrier. Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol 5:273-288
Vardi, Iddo; Barel, Ortal; Sperber, Michal et al. (2018) Genetic and Structural Analysis of a SKIV2L Mutation Causing Tricho-hepato-enteric Syndrome. Dig Dis Sci 63:1192-1199
Li, Jian; Shouval, Dror S; Doty, Andria L et al. (2017) Increased Mucosal IL-22 Production of an IL-10RA Mutation Patient Following Anakin Treatment Suggests Further Mechanism for Mucosal Healing. J Clin Immunol 37:104-107
Lexmond, Willem S; Goettel, Jeremy A; Lyons, Jonathan J et al. (2016) FOXP3+ Tregs require WASP to restrain Th2-mediated food allergy. J Clin Invest 126:4030-4044
Baptista, Marisa A P; Keszei, Marton; Oliveira, Mariana et al. (2016) Deletion of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein triggers Rac2 activity and increased cross-presentation by dendritic cells. Nat Commun 7:12175
Volpi, Stefano; Santori, Elettra; Abernethy, Katrina et al. (2016) N-WASP is required for B-cell-mediated autoimmunity in Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. Blood 127:216-20
Moran, Christopher J; Klein, Christoph; Muise, Aleixo M et al. (2015) Very early-onset inflammatory bowel disease: gaining insight through focused discovery. Inflamm Bowel Dis 21:1166-75
Crestani, Elena; Volpi, Stefano; Candotti, Fabio et al. (2015) Broad spectrum of autoantibodies in patients with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome and X-linked thrombocytopenia. J Allergy Clin Immunol 136:1401-4.e1-3
Kolhatkar, Nikita S; Brahmandam, Archana; Thouvenel, Christopher D et al. (2015) Altered BCR and TLR signals promote enhanced positive selection of autoreactive transitional B cells in Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. J Exp Med 212:1663-77
Gerasimcik, Natalija; Dahlberg, Carin I M; Baptista, Marisa A P et al. (2015) The Rho GTPase Cdc42 Is Essential for the Activation and Function of Mature B Cells. J Immunol 194:4750-8

Showing the most recent 10 out of 110 publications