Hyaluronan Depolymerization by Megakaryocyte Hyaluronidase-2 Is Required for Thrombopoiesis

Petrey AC, Obery DR, Kessler SP, Flamion B, de la Motte CA. Am J Pathol. 2016 Sep;186(9):2390-403. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2016.05.004. PMID: 27398974

Hyaluronan is the predominant glycosaminoglycan component of the extracellular matrix with an emerging role in hematopoiesis. Modulation of hyaluronan polymer size is responsible for its control over cellular functions, and the balance of hyaluronan synthesis and degradation determines its molecular size. Although two active somatic hyaluronidases are expressed in mammals, only deficiency in hyaluronidase-2 (Hyal-2) results in thrombocytopenia of unknown mechanism. Our results reveal that Hyal-2 knockout mice accumulate hyaluronan within their bone marrow and within megakaryocytes, the cells responsible for platelet generation. Proplatelet formation by Hyal-2 knockout megakaryocytes was disrupted because of abnormal formation of the demarcation membrane system, which was dilated and poorly developed. Importantly, peptide-mediated delivery of exogenous hyaluronidase rescued deficient proplatelet formation in murine and human megakaryocytes lacking Hyal-2. Together, our data uncover a previously unsuspected mechanism of how hyaluronan and Hyal-2 control platelet generation.