Mucor circinelloides induces platelet aggregation through integrin αIIbβ3 and FcγRIIA

Harlene Ghuman, Alicia Shepherd-Roberts, Stephanie Watson, Malou Zuidscherwoude, Steve Watson, Kerstin Voelz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
230 Downloads (Pure)


Thrombosis is a hallmark of the fatal fungal infection mucormycosis. Yet, the platelet activation pathway in response to mucormycetes is unknown. In this study we determined the platelet aggregation potential of Mucor circinelloides (M. circinelloides) NRRL3631, characterized the signaling pathway facilitating aggregation in response to fungal spores, and identified the influence of the spore developmental stage upon platelet aggregation potential. Using impedance and light-transmission aggregometry, we showed that M. circinelloides induced platelet aggregation in whole blood and in platelet-rich plasma, respectively. The formation of large spore-platelet aggregates was confirmed by light-sheet microscopy, which showed spores dispersed throughout the aggregate. Aggregation potential was dependent on the spore’s developmental stage, with the strongest platelet aggregation by spores in mid-germination. Inhibitor studies revealed platelet aggregation was mediated by the low affinity IgG receptor FcγRIIA and integrin αIIbβ3; Src and Syk tyrosine kinase signaling; and the secondary mediators TxA2 and ADP. Flow cytometry of antibody stained platelets showed that interaction with spores increased expression of platelet surface integrin αIIbβ3 and the platelet activation marker CD62P. Together, this is the first elucidation of the signaling pathways underlying thrombosis formation during a fungal infection, highlighting targets for therapeutic intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date3 Jan 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jan 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Mucor circinelloides induces platelet aggregation through integrin αIIbβ3 and FcγRIIA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this