PAR4, but not PAR1, signals human platelet aggregation via Ca2+ mobilization and synergistic P2Y12 receptor activation

Michael Holinstat, Bryan Voss, Matthew L. Bilodeau, Joseph N. McLaughlin, John Cleator, Heidi E. Hamm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Regulation of platelet activation plays a central role in hemostasis and pathophysiological processes such as coronary artery disease. Thrombin is the most potent activator of platelets. Human platelets express two thrombin receptors, PAR1 and PAR4, both of which signal platelet activation. Evidence is lacking on the mechanism by which PAR1 and PAR4 may differentially signal platelet aggregation. Here we show that at the relatively high concentration of agonist most likely found at the site of a local thrombus, dual inhibition of the P2Y12 receptor and calcium mobilization result in a complete inhibition of PAR4-induced aggregation, while having no effect on either thrombin or PAR1-mediated platelet aggregation. Both PAR1- and PAR4-mediated aggregation are independent of calcium mobilization. Furthermore, we show that P2Y12 receptor activation is not required for protease-activated receptor-mediated aggregation at higher agonist concentrations and is only partially required for Rap1 as well as GPIIbIIIa activation. P2Y12 receptor inhibitors clinically in use such as clopidogrel are postulated to decrease platelet aggregation through partial inhibition of PAR1 signaling. Our data, however, indicate that at high local concentrations of thrombin, it is the signaling through PAR4 rather than PAR1 that may be regulated through purinergic feedback. Thus, our data identify an intra-platelet mechanism that may function as a future site for therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26665-26674
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 8 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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