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Recent Advances in Platelet TranscriptomicsGnatenko D.V.a · Bahou W.F.a,b
aDepartment of Medicine, bProgram in Genetics, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY, USA
Platelets are anucleated cells that contain small amounts of mRNA of megakaryocyte origin and possess the capacity for signal-dependent pre-mRNA splicing. They have an important role in diverse hemostatic and pathological disorders, including vascular remodeling, inflammation and wound repair. Recent progress in highthroughput mRNA profiling techniques permitted first insights into the platelet transcriptome - a catalogue of all mRNA transcripts expressed in platelets. It is evident that platelets have a unique and reproducible molecular signature. Detailed analysis of the platelet transcriptome has resulted in the identification of many genes and proteins, previously unknown to be expressed in platelets. Furthermore, microarray analysis was applied to platelet disorders: i) as potentially a powerful tool for differential diagnosis, ii) to study the molecular basis of the disease and iii) to identify potential targets for therapy. In this review, we focus on recent applications of transcript profiling to platelet studies. We briefly review current approaches to transcriptome analysis and describe practical application of these approaches to investigate molecular mechanisms of essential thrombocythemia, gray platelet syndrome and polycythemia vera.