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Characterization of a Novel Membrane Glycoprotein Involved in Platelet Activation

Open AccessPublished:August 15, 1989DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0021-9258(18)80021-7
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      When platelets bind certain specific ligands they are induced to secrete the contents of their cytoplasmic granules and to aggregate. Studies of the molecular events accompanying this vital physiological response have led to a greater understanding of cell activation in general since the pathways involved are common to a number of cell types. By contrast most of the information about the cell surface molecules that initiate signal transduction has emerged from work on T lymphocyte activation, a process essential to the initiation of the immune response. We have described an activation antigen on T lymphocytes that is involved in the differentiation of these cells. In the present report it is demonstrated that the antigen is expressed on the platelet membrane with about 1,200 copies/platelet. A monoclonal antibody detecting this antigen stimulates platelet secretion and aggregation with a half-maximal response at ≈ 10−8 M. Characterization of the antigen, termed PTA1, reveals a glycoprotein of Mr 67,000 showing extensive N-linked carbohydrate, much of which appears to be heavily sialated. The amino-terminal sequence of PTA1, EEVLWHTSVPFAEXMSLEXVYPSM, indicates that the protein has not previously been characterized. Preliminary investigation of the mechanism by which PTA1 mediates platelet activation suggests involvement of protein kinase C and the 47-kDa protein of platelets is rapidly phosphorylated upon antibody-mediated activation. During this process PTA1 is also phosphorylated, as it is following platelet activation by the other agonists, collagen, thrombin, and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate. These results provide the first example of a cell surface glycoprotein that is directly involved in both platelet and T lymphocyte activation.

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