A function-blocking PAR4 antibody is markedly antithrombotic in the face of a hyperreactive PAR4 variant

Blood Adv. 2018 Jun 12;2(11):1283-1293. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2017015552.


Thrombin activates human platelets via 2 protease-activated receptors (PARs), PAR1 and PAR4, both of which are antithrombotic drug targets: a PAR1 inhibitor is approved for clinical use, and a PAR4 inhibitor is in trial. However, a common sequence variant in human PAR4 (rs773902, encoding Thr120 in place of Ala120) renders the receptor more sensitive to agonists and less sensitive to antagonists. Here, we develop the first human monoclonal function-blocking antibody to human PAR4 and show it provides equivalent efficacy against the Ala120 and Thr120 PAR4 variants. This candidate was generated from a panel of anti-PAR4 antibodies, was found to bind PAR4 with affinity (KD ≈ 0.4 nM) and selectivity (no detectable binding to any of PAR1, PAR2, or PAR3), and is capable of near-complete inhibition of thrombin cleavage of either the Ala120 or Thr120 PAR4 variant. Platelets from individuals expressing the Thr120 PAR4 variant exhibit increased thrombin-induced aggregation and phosphatidylserine exposure vs those with the Ala120 PAR4 variant, yet the PAR4 antibody inhibited these responses equivalently (50% inhibitory concentration, 4.3 vs 3.2 µg/mL against Ala120 and Thr120, respectively). Further, the antibody significantly impairs platelet procoagulant activity in an ex vivo thrombosis assay, with equivalent inhibition of fibrin formation and overall thrombus size in blood from individuals expressing the Ala120 or Thr120 PAR4 variant. These findings reveal antibody-mediated inhibition of PAR4 cleavage and activation provides robust antithrombotic activity independent of the rs773902 PAR4 sequence variant and provides rationale for such an approach for antithrombotic therapy targeting this receptor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Blocking* / immunology
  • Antibodies, Blocking* / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived* / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived* / pharmacology
  • Blood Platelets / immunology*
  • Blood Platelets / pathology
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mutation, Missense*
  • Platelet Aggregation / drug effects*
  • Platelet Aggregation / immunology
  • Receptors, Thrombin* / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Thrombin* / genetics
  • Receptors, Thrombin* / immunology
  • Thrombin / pharmacology


  • Antibodies, Blocking
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Receptors, Thrombin
  • Thrombin
  • protease-activated receptor 4