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Keywords:

  • Thrombosis;
  • platelets;
  • adhesion receptors;
  • GPIb-IX-V;
  • GPVI

Abstract

Patho/physiological platelet aggregate (thrombus) formation is initiated by engagement of platelet surface receptors, glycoprotein (GP)Ib-IX-V and GPVI that bind von Willebrand factor or collagen. Although beneficial in response to vascular injury by preventing blood loss (haemostasis), platelet aggregation in a sclerotic coronary artery or other diseased blood vessel (thrombosis) can cause thrombotic diseases like heart attack and stroke. At the molecular level, ligand interactions with GPIb-IX-V or GPVI trigger signalling responses, including elevation of cytosolic Ca2 +, dissociation of calmodulin from their cytoplasmic domains, cytoskeletal actin-filament rearrangements, activation of src-family kinases or PI 3-kinase, and 'inside-out' activation of the integrin, αIIbβ3 (GPIIb-IIIa), that binds von Willebrand factor or fibrinogen and mediates platelet aggregation. Furthermore, emerging evidence supports a topographical co-association of these receptors of the leucine-rich repeat family (GPIb-IX-V) and immunoglobulin superfamily (GPVI) in an adhesive cluster or 'adhesosome'. This arrangement may underlie common mechanisms of initiating thrombus formation in haemostasis or thrombotic disease. IUBMB Life, 56: 13-18, 2004