Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : The family of P2Y nucleotide receptors is composed of eight members differentiated by their pharmacology and their coupling to specific G-proteins and transduction mechanisms. The laboratory studying these nucleotide receptors at IRIBHM institute (Free University of Brussels) has participated actively in their cloning. We used classical cloning by homology strategies relying on polymerase chain reactions with degenerate primers or on DNA libraries screening with P2Y receptors-related primers or probes, respectively. We identified and characterised four of the eight human P2Y receptors cloned so far: P2Y4, P2Y6, P2Y11 and P2Y13 receptors. These human receptors displayed specific features in terms of pharmacology such as affinity for pyrimidine nucleotides for P2Y4 and P2Y6 receptors and differential G-protein coupling. Their specific and restricted tissue distribution compared to ubiquitous P2Y1 and P2Y2 receptors led us to study their physiological role in chosen cell systems or using mice deficient for these P2Y subtypes. These studies revealed over the years that the P2Y11 receptor was able to confer tolerogenic and tumorigenic properties to human dendritic cells and that P2Y4 and P2Y6 receptors were involved in mouse heart post-natal development and cardioprotection. P2Y receptors and their identified target genes could constitute therapeutic targets to regulate cardiac hypertrophy and regeneration. The multiple roles of P2Y receptors identified in the ischemic heart and cardiac adipose tissue could have multiple innovative clinical applications and present a major interest in the field of cardiovascular diseases. P2Y receptors can induce cardioprotection by the regulation of cardiac inflammation and the modulation of the volume and composition of cardiac adipose tissue. These findings might lead to the pre-clinical validation of P2Y receptors as new targets for the treatment of myocardial ischemia.