Thrombin-induced reactive oxygen species generation in platelets: A novel role for protease-activated receptor 4 and GPIba.
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BACKGROUND: Platelets are essential for maintaining haemostasis and play a key role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Upon ligation of platelet receptors through subendothelial matrix proteins, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated, further amplifying the platelet activation response. Thrombin, a potent platelet activator, can signal through GPIba and protease-activated receptor (PAR) 1 and PAR4 on human platelets, and recently has been implicated in the generation of ROS. While ROS are known to have key roles in intra-platelet signalling and subsequent platelet activation, the precise receptors and signalling pathways involved in thrombin-induced ROS generation have yet to be fully elucidated. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relative contribution of platelet GPIba and PARs to thrombin-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. METHODS AND RESULTS: Highly specific antagonists targeting PAR1 and PAR4, and the GPIba-cleaving enzyme, Naja kaouthia (Nk) protease, were used in quantitative flow cytometry assays of thrombin-induced ROS production. Antagonists of PAR4 but not PAR1, inhibited thrombin-derived ROS generation. Removal of the GPIba ligand binding region attenuated PAR4-induced and completely inhibited thrombin-induced ROS formation. Similarly, PAR4 deficiency in mice abolished thrombin-induced ROS generation. Additionally, GPIba and PAR4-dependent ROS formation were shown to be mediated through focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and NADPH oxidase 1 (NOX1) proteins. CONCLUSIONS: Both GPIba and PAR4 are required for thrombin-induced ROS formation, suggesting a novel functional cooperation between GPIba and PAR4. Our study identifies a novel role for PAR4 in mediating thrombin-induced ROS production that was not shared by PAR1. This suggests an independent signalling pathway in platelet activation that may be targeted therapeutically.
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