The glycoprotein CD36, also known as glycoprotein IIIb/IV or FAT, is expressed on the surface of platelets, monocytes, microvascular endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, cardiomyocytes and other cells of the cardiovascular system. In spite of its abundant presence, CD36 has remained for long a mysterious protein with a poorly understood role. In this paper, we review how CD36 can affect cellular responses by interaction with a variety of ligands, in particular thrombospondin-1, oxidized lipoproteins and fatty acids. Furthermore, given the structure of CD36 with two transmembrane domains and short cytoplasmic tails, we consider how this receptor can induce intracellular signaling, likely in junction with other cellular receptors or associated proteins in the membrane. Current literature points to activation of Src-family and mitogen-activated protein kinases, as well as to activation of the NFκB and Rho pathways. The new insights make CD36 attractive as a therapeutic target to suppress platelet and monocyte/macrophage function and thereby atherothrombosis.
Keywords: Atherothrombosis, monocytes, lipoproteins, macrophages, thrombospondin, CD36, glycoprotein, cardiomyocytes, thrombospondin-1, Src-family, mitogen-activated protein kinases, hrombospondin-1, oxidized phospholipids, scavenger receptor B1, CD36 gene, C-terminus, Drosophila, ABC transporter, Streptococcus, cysteine residues, disulfide bonds, Plasmodium falciparum, phosphorylation site, Collagen, fibroblasts, anti-CD36 antibodies, Scavenger, clathrin-mediated endocytosis, Adipocytes, myocytes, hexarelin, Syk kinases
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