Impact of Escherichia coli K12 and O18:K1 on human platelets: Differential effects on platelet activation, RNAs and proteins

A. V. Fejes, M. G. Best, W. A. van der Heijden, A. Vancura, H. Verschueren, Q. de Mast, T. Wurdinger, C. Mannhalter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Blood platelets can interact with bacteria, possibly leading to platelet activation, cytokine and microparticle release and immune signalling. Besides, bacteria can also affect the platelet RNA content. We investigated the impact of non-pathogenic K12 and pathogenic O18:K1 Escherichia (E.) coli strains on platelet activation, RNA expression patterns, and selected proteins. Depending on bacteria concentration, contact of platelets with E. coli K12 lead to an increase of P-selectin (24–51.3%), CD63 (15.9–24.3%), PAC-1 (3.8–14.9%) and bound fibrinogen (22.4–39%) on the surface. E. coli O18:K1 did not affect these markers. Sequencing analysis of total RNA showed that E. coli K12 caused a significant concentration change of 103 spliced mRNAs, of which 74 decreased. For the RNAs of HMBS (logFC = +5.73), ATP2C1 (logFC = −3.13) and LRCH4 (logFC = −4.07) changes were detectable by thromboSeq and Tuxedo pipelines. By Western blot we observed the conversion of HMBS protein from a 47 kDA to 40 kDa product by E. coli K12, O18:K1 and by purified lipopolysaccharide. While ATP2C1 protein was released from platelets, E. coli either reduced the secretion or broke down the released protein making it undetectable by antibodies. Our results demonstrate that different E. coli strains influence activation, RNA and protein levels differently which may affect platelet-bacteria crosstalk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16145
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

Cite this