Platelets in healthy and disease states: From biomarkers discovery to drug targets identification by proteomics

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Platelets are a heterogeneous small anucleate blood cell population with a central role both in physiological haemostasis and in pathological states, spanning from thrombosis to inflammation, and cancer. Recent advances in proteomic studies provided additional important information concerning the platelet biology and the response of platelets to several pathophysiological pathways. Platelets circulate systemically and can be easily isolated from human samples, making proteomic application very interesting for characterizing the complexity of platelet functions in health and disease as well as for identifying and quantifying potential platelet proteins as biomarkers and novel antiplatelet therapeutic targets. To date, the highly dynamic protein content of platelets has been studied in resting and activated platelets, and several subproteomes have been characterized including platelet-derived microparticles, platelet granules, platelet releasates, platelet membrane proteins, and specific platelet post-translational modifications. In this review, a critical overview is provided on principal platelet proteomic studies focused on platelet biology from signaling to granules content, platelet proteome changes in several diseases, and the impact of drugs on platelet functions. Moreover, recent advances in quantitative platelet proteomics are discussed, emphasizing the importance of targeted quantification methods for more precise, robust and accurate quantification of selected proteins, which might be used as biomarkers for disease diagnosis, prognosis and therapy, and their strong clinical impact in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4541
Pages (from-to)1-44
Number of pages44
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Antiplatelet drugs
  • Blood cells
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Post-translational modifications
  • Proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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