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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004 Apr;24(4):787-92.

PDGF C is a selective alpha platelet-derived growth factor receptor agonist that is highly expressed in platelet alpha granules and vascular smooth muscle.

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  • 1Millennium Pharmaceuticals, South San Francisco, Calif 94080, USA.



The platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family consists of four members, PDGF A, PDGF B, and 2 new members, PDGF C and PDGF D, which signal through the alpha and beta PDGF receptor (PDGFR) tyrosine kinases. This study was performed to determine the receptor specificity and cellular expression profile of PDGF C.


PDGF C growth factor domain (GFD) was shown to preferentially bind and activate alpha PDGFR and activate beta PDGFR when it is co-expressed with alpha PDGFR through heterodimer formation. An investigation of PDGF C mRNA and protein expression revealed that during mouse fetal development, PDGF C was expressed in the mesonephric mesenchyme, prefusion skeletal muscle, cardiac myoblasts, and in visceral and vascular smooth muscle, whereas in adult human tissues expression was largely restricted to smooth muscle. Microarray analysis of various cell types showed PDGF C expression in vascular smooth muscle cells, renal mesangial cells, and platelets. PDGF C mRNA expression in platelets was confirmed by real-time polymerase chain reaction, and PDGF C protein was localized in alpha granules by immuno-gold electron microscopy. Western blot analysis of platelets identified 55-kDa and 80-kDa PDGF C isoforms that were secreted on platelet activation.


Taken together, our results demonstrated for the first time to our knowledge that like PDGF A and B, PDGF C is likely to play a role in platelet biology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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