Blood platelets play a fundamental role in primary haemostasis and wound repair, but are also involved in several thrombotic
and bleeding disorders for which the underlying mechanisms are still largely unknown. Elucidating platelet biology would help in finding
novel disease biomarkers and drug targets in complex and/or genetically unknown platelet-related disorders. Proteomics, which allows
studying thousands of gene products at once, represents an efficient tool to quali-quantitatively analyze and compare the platelet protein
patterns of different samples (i.e. control/patient, treated/untreated, drug sensitive/resistant), to investigate post-translation modifications,
protein-protein interactions and the underlying molecular pathways. This review gives an overview of the applications of proteomic
strategies to study platelet biology and function, as well as to unravel differences in protein expression according to specific platelet conditions
(i.e. basic versus activated), compartments (i.e. membrane or granules) and fractions (i.e. phosphoproteins and glycoproteins). The
use of innovative powerful proteomic technologies can lead to the identification of proteins whose expression is altered in pathological
conditions, allowing the identification of candidate biomarkers for: i) understanding the molecular defects underlying platelet disorders,
ii) obtaining novel insights in more complex diseases that involve platelets, iii) unraveling the drug mode of action or identifying the
mechanisms of drug resistance and iv) detecting novel therapeutic antiplatelet targets based on fundamental platelet research studies.
Several studies on how proteomics proved to be useful in our understanding of platelet function and its diseases are discussed. Eventually,
this could result in the discovery of novel drug targets for antiplatelet therapy.
Keywords: Biomarkers, diagnosis, drug, gel-based techniques, mass spectrometry, molecular mechanisms, platelets, platelet disorders,
proteomics, therapeutic target.
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