Rare platelet G protein-coupled receptor variants: what can we learn?

S P Nisar, M L Jones, M R Cunningham, A D Mumford, S J Mundell, UK GAPP Study Group

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Platelet expressed G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are critical regulators of platelet function. Pharmacological blockade of these receptors forms a powerful therapeutic tool in the treatment and prevention of arterial thrombosis associated with coronary atherosclerosis and ischaemic stroke. However, anti-thrombotic drug therapy is associated with high inter-patient variability in therapeutic response and adverse bleeding side-effects. In order to optimise the use of existing antiplatelet drugs and to develop new therapies more detailed knowledge is required relating to the molecular mechanisms that regulate GPCR and therefore platelet function. One approach has been to identify rare, function-disrupting mutations within key platelet proteins in patients with bleeding disorders. In this review we describe how an integrated functional genomics strategy has contributed important structure-function information about platelet GPCRs with specific emphasis upon purinergic (P2Y12 ) and thromboxane (TP-α) receptors. We also discuss the potential implications these findings have for pharmacotherapy and for understanding the molecular basis of mild bleeding disorders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Early online date24 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • platelet function
  • antiplatelet drugs
  • G protein-coupled receptors


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