Response of blood leukocytes to thrombin receptor peptides.
Thrombin has receptor-mediated effects on a variety of cell types. A recently cloned platelet thrombin receptor exerts its effects by a tethered-ligand mechanism. A similar receptor was shown in at least two nonplatelet cell types, fibroblasts and endothelial cells. Thrombin has biologically important effects on leukocytes, but the type of receptor mediating the effects is not known. Therefore, we examined the responses of monocytes, neutrophils, and lymphocytes to thrombin and to an agonist specific for the platelet-type thrombin receptor. We compared the effects of a peptide (SFLLRNPNDKYEPF) corresponding to residues 42-55 of the cloned platelet thrombin receptor on calcium flux in platelets and leukocytes. The thrombin receptor peptide induced increases in intracellular calcium in platelets and monocytes that reached a maximum at 5 microM peptide. The maximal increase was similar in magnitude to the response to thrombin. Lymphocytes showed a small and variable increase in intracellular calcium in response to thrombin or the thrombin receptor agonist. The thrombin receptor peptide had no effect on neutrophil calcium concentrations. When the amino acid corresponding to Arg 46 was replaced with Ala in the synthetic peptide, the ability to increase intracellular calcium was abolished for both platelets and monocytes. The peptide instead had thrombin antagonist activity. Thus, monocytes respond to thrombin receptor peptides similarly to platelets. We conclude that human monocytes possess a thrombin receptor similar to that present on platelets. Furthermore, the residue corresponding to Arg 46 of the thrombin receptor is critical for receptor agonist activity.
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