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Keywords:

  • GPIb-IX-V;
  • GPVI;
  • metalloproteineses;
  • platelets;
  • thrombosis.

Summary.  Platelet adhesion receptors play a critical role in vascular pathophysiology, and control platelet adhesion, activation and aggregation in hemostasis, thrombotic disease and atherogenesis. One of the key emerging mechanisms for regulating platelet function is the programmed autologous cleavage of platelet receptors. Induced by ligand binding or platelet activation, proteolysis at extracellular (ectodomain shedding) or intracellular (cytoplasmic domain deactivation) sites down-regulates the adheso-signaling function of receptors, thereby controlling not only platelet responsiveness, but in the case of ectodomain shedding, liberating soluble ectodomain fragments into plasma where they constitute potential modulators or markers. This review discusses the underlying mechanisms for dual proteolytic pathways of receptor regulation, and the impact of these pathways on thrombus formation and stability in vivo.