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A Mouse Model of the Protease Activated Receptor 4 (PAR4) Pro310Leu Variant has Reduced Platelet Reactivity.

BACKGROUND: Protease activated receptor 4 (PAR4) mediates thrombin signaling on platelets and other cells. Our recent structural studies demonstrated a single nucleotide polymorphism in extracellular loop 3 (ECL3), PAR4-P310L (rs2227376) leads to a hypo-reactive receptor.

OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to determine how the hypo-reactive PAR4 variant in ECL3 impacts platelet function in vivo using a novel knock-in mouse model (PAR4-322L).

METHODS: A point mutation was introduced into the PAR4 gene, F2rl3, via CRISPR/Cas9 to create PAR4-P322L, the mouse homolog to human PAR4-P310L. Platelet response to PAR4 activation peptide (AYPGKF), thrombin, ADP, and convulxin was monitored by αIIbβ3 integrin activation and P-selectin translocation using flow cytometry or platelet aggregation. In vivo responses were determined by the tail bleeding assay and the ferric chloride-induced carotid artery injury model.

RESULTS: PAR4-P/L and PAR4-L/L platelets had a reduced response to AYPGKF and thrombin measured by P-selectin translocation or αIIbβ3 activation. The response to ADP and convulxin was unchanged among genotypes. In addition, both PAR4-P/L and PAR4-L/L platelets showed a reduced response to thrombin in aggregation studies. There was an increase in the tail bleeding time for PAR4-L/L mice. The PAR4-P/L and PAR4-L/L mice both showed an extended time to arterial thrombosis.

CONCLUSIONS: PAR4-322L significantly reduced platelet responsiveness to AYPGKF and thrombin, which is in agreement with our previous structural and cell signaling studies. In addition, PAR4-322L had prolonged arterial thrombosis time. Our mouse model provides a foundation to further evaluate the role of PAR4 in other pathophysiological contexts.

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