PARs (protease-activated receptors) 1 and 4 belong to the family of G-protein-coupled receptors which induce both Gα12/13 and Gαq signalling. By applying the specific PAR1- and PAR4-activating hexapeptides, SFLLRN and AYPGKF respectively, we found that aggregation of isolated human platelets mediated via PAR1, but not via PAR4, is abolished upon homologous receptor activation in a concentration- and time-dependent fashion. This effect was not due to receptor internalization, but to a decrease in Ca2+ mobilization, PKC (protein kinase C) signalling and α-granule secretion, as well as to a complete lack of dense granule secretion. Interestingly, subthreshold PAR4 activation rapidly abrogated PAR1 signalling desensitization by differentially reconstituting these affected signalling events and functional responses, which was sufficient to re-establish aggregation. The lack of ADP release and P2Y12 receptor-induced Gαi signalling accounted for the loss of the aggregation response, as mimicking Gαi/z signalling with 2-MeS-ADP (2-methylthioadenosine-5′-O-diphosphate) or epinephrine (adrenaline) could substitute for intermediate PAR4 activation. Finally, we found that the re-sensitization of PAR1 signalling-induced aggregation via PAR4 relied on PKC-mediated release of both ADP from dense granules and fibrinogen from α-granules. The present study elucidates further differences in human platelet PAR signalling regulation and provides evidence for a cross-talk in which PAR4 signalling counteracts mechanisms involved in PAR1 signalling down-regulation.

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