A critical role for the transient receptor potential channel type 6 in human platelet activation.
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While calcium signaling is known to play vital roles in platelet function, the mechanisms underlying its receptor-operated calcium entry component (ROCE) remain poorly understood. It has been proposed, but never proven in platelets, that the canonical transient receptor potential channel-6 (TRPC6) mediates ROCE. Nonetheless, we have previously shown that the mouse TRPC6 regulates hemostasis, thrombogenesis by regulating platelet aggregation. In the present studies, we used a pharmacological approach to characterize the role of TRPC6 in human platelet biology. Thus, interestingly, we observed that a TRPC6 inhibitor exerted significant inhibitory effects on human platelet aggregation in a thromboxane receptor (TPR)-selective manner; no additional inhibition was observed in the presence of the calcium chelator BAPTA. This inhibitor also significantly inhibited human platelet secretion (dense and alpha granules), integrin IIb-IIIa, Akt and ERK phosphorylation, again, in a TPR-selective manner; no effects were observed in response to ADP receptor stimulation. Furthermore, there was a causal relationship between these inhibitory effects, and the capacity of the TRPC6 inhibitor to abrogate elevation in intracellular calcium, that was again found to be TPR-specific. This effect was not found to be due to antagonism of TPR, as the TRPC6 inhibitor did not displace the radiolabeled antagonist [3H]SQ29,548 from its binding sites. Finally, our studies also revealed that TRPC6 regulates human clot retraction, as well as physiological hemostasis and thrombus formation, in mice. Taken together, our findings demonstrate, for the first time, that TRPC6 directly regulates TPR-dependent ROCE and platelet function. Moreover, these data highlight TRPC6 as a novel promising therapeutic strategy for managing thrombotic disorders.