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J Biol Chem. 1992 Jun 25;267(18):12851-9.

Efficient plasma membrane expression of a functional platelet glycoprotein Ib-IX complex requires the presence of its three subunits.

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  • 1Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco 94141-9100.


The glycoprotein (GP) Ib-IX complex of the platelet plasma membrane mediates the adhesion of platelets to damaged blood vessel wall. The complex is composed of three membrane-spanning polypeptides, GP Ib alpha, GP Ib beta, and GP IX, all of which are absent from the platelets of patients with the hereditary bleeding disorder Bernard-Soulier syndrome. In this study we report stable expression of the recombinant receptor in three cell lines and demonstrate that the three subunits of the complex are necessary for its efficient expression on the plasma membrane. The expressed complex associates with the cytoskeleton of the transfected cells through an interaction with actin-binding protein and binds its ligand, von Willebrand factor. These data suggest that the lack of plasma membrane GP Ib-IX complex in the Bernard-Soulier syndrome could potentially arise from mutations affecting any one of its three subunits.

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