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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Jun 1;88(11):4761-5.

Mutation in the gene encoding the alpha chain of platelet glycoprotein Ib in platelet-type von Willebrand disease.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, State University of New York Health Science Center, Syracuse 13210.


Platelet-type von Willebrand disease (PT-vWD) is an autosomal dominant bleeding disorder characterized by abnormally enhanced binding of von Willebrand factor (vWF) by patient platelets. Although the platelet glycoprotein (GP) Ib/IX complex is known to constitute the platelet's ristocetin-dependent receptor for vWF, a unique structural abnormality within this complex has not previously been identified in PT-vWD. Using the polymerase chain reaction to amplify genomic DNA coding for the alpha chain of GP Ib (GP Ib alpha) and then sequencing the amplified DNA following cloning into M13mp18 and M13mp19 phage vectors, we have found a single point mutation in the GP Ib alpha coding region of PT-vWD DNA resulting in the substitution of valine for glycine at residue 233. This substitution within the vWF-binding region of GP Ib alpha is likely to exert a significant influence on the conformation of the resulting protein. Competitive oligonucleotide primer assay for this mutation showed a homozygous wild-type pattern in genomic DNA from the 161 normal volunteers studied and from 6 phenotypically normal members of a PT-vWD family. All 7 affected members of this family studied were heterozygous for the mutant allele. Platelet GP Ib alpha mRNA reverse-transcribed and studied by competitive oligonucleotide primer assay showed similar expression of the mutant and wild-type alleles in the affected PT-vWD patients. Absence in the normal population, tight linkage with phenotypic expression of disease, and absence of any additional abnormality of GP Ib alpha in these patients identify the glycine-to-valine substitution as a point mutation underlying functional abnormality of the vWF receptor in PT-vWD.

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