Letter | Published:

Identification of the platelet ADP receptor targeted by antithrombotic drugs

Naturevolume 409pages202207 (2001) | Download Citation



Platelets have a crucial role in the maintenance of normal haemostasis, and perturbations of this system can lead to pathological thrombus formation and vascular occlusion, resulting in stroke, myocardial infarction and unstable angina. ADP released from damaged vessels and red blood cells induces platelet aggregation through activation of the integrin GPIIb–IIIa and subsequent binding of fibrinogen. ADP is also secreted from platelets on activation, providing positive feedback that potentiates the actions of many platelet activators1. ADP mediates platelet aggregation through its action on two G-protein-coupled receptor subtypes2,3. The P2Y1 receptor couples to Gq and mobilizes intracellular calcium ions to mediate platelet shape change and aggregation4,5. The second ADP receptor required for aggregation (variously called P2YADP, P2YAC, P2Ycyc or P2TAC) is coupled to the inhibition of adenylyl cyclase through Gi. The molecular identity of the Gi-linked receptor is still elusive, even though it is the target of efficacious antithrombotic agents, such as ticlopidine and clopidogrel6,7,8 and AR-C66096 (ref. 9). Here we describe the cloning of this receptor, designated P2Y12, and provide evidence that a patient with a bleeding disorder10 has a defect in this gene. Cloning of the P2Y12 receptor should facilitate the development of better antiplatelet agents to treat cardiovascular diseases.

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We thank E. Peralta for advice and encouragement. We also thank H. Chuang for advice with electrophysiological assays; A. Laibelman and R. Scarborough for C1330-7; P. Castro and L. Komuves for assistance and advice with the in situ hybridization; the Oksenberg and Reijo laboratories for human DNA samples; E. Thompson, K. Simpson, S. Hollenbach and K. Ministri-Madrid and the COR animal facility for technical assistance; R.Wong and D. De Guzman for assistance with figures; and C. Homcy, E. E. Reynolds, J. Topper and D. Phillips for discussions. D.J. is supported by funding from NIH and NIMH; G.H. is supported by a NIH predoctoral neuroscience training grant.

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Author notes

    • Georgia Li

    Present address: Advanced Medicine , South San Francisco, California, 94080, USA

    • Laura England

    Present address: FibroGen, South San Francisco, California, 94080, USA


  1. Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Program in Neuroscience, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, 94143, California, USA

    • Gunther Hollopeter
    • , Laura England
    •  & David Julius
  2. COR Therapeutics, Inc., South San Francisco, 94080, California, USA

    • Hans-Michael Jantzen
    • , Diana Vincent
    • , Georgia Li
    • , Vanitha Ramakrishnan
    • , Ruey-Bing Yang
    •  & Pamela B. Conley
  3. UMR 5533 CNRS, Hôpital Cardiologique , Pessac, 33605, France

    • Paquita Nurden
    •  & Alan Nurden


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Correspondence to Pamela B. Conley.

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