ATP-stimulated P2X1 and ADP-stimulated P2Y1 receptors play important roles in platelet activation. An increase in intracellular Ca2+ represents a key signalling event coupled to both of these receptors, mediated via direct gating of Ca2+-permeable channels in the case of P2X1 and phospholipase-C-dependent Ca2+ mobilisation for P2Y1. We show that disruption of cholesterol-rich membrane lipid rafts reduces P2X1 receptor-mediated calcium increases by 80%, while P2Y1 receptor-dependent Ca2+ release is unaffected. In contrast to artery, vas deferens, bladder smooth muscle, and recombinant expression in cell lines, where P2X1 receptors show almost exclusive association with lipid rafts, only 20% of platelet P2X1 receptors are co-expressed with the lipid raft marker flotillin-2. We conclude that lipid rafts play a significant role in the regulation of P2X1 but not P2Y1 receptors in human platelets and that a reserve of non-functional P2X1 receptors may exist
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