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J Clin Invest. 1989 Jul;84(1):92-9.

GMP-140, a platelet alpha-granule membrane protein, is also synthesized by vascular endothelial cells and is localized in Weibel-Palade bodies.

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St. Francis Medical Research Institute, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, Oklahoma City 73104.


We used an immunoperoxidase procedure to examine the tissue distribution of the platelet alpha-granule membrane protein, GMP-140. In addition to its presence in megakaryocytes and platelets, GMP-140 antigen was found in vascular endothelial cells of diverse human organs, but it was not detected in other types of secretory cells. [35S]Cysteine-labeled human umbilical vein endothelial cells synthesized a GMP-140 molecule containing complex N-linked oligosaccharides similar to those previously demonstrated in platelets and the megakaryocytic HEL cell line. Using an immunogold procedure on frozen thin sections of endothelial cells, we found GMP-140 antigen to be localized to membranes of electron-dense storage granules. In double-label experiments there was colocalization of GMP-140 with vWf, indicating that these granules are Weibel-Palade bodies. When endothelial cells were stimulated with histamine, GMP-140 rapidly redistributed to the plasma membrane. Immunoassays of cell lysates indicated that, relative to total cell protein, less GMP-140 is present in human umbilical vein endothelial cells than in platelets. The restricted expression of GMP-140 in secretory granules of platelets and endothelium suggests that it has a specific function in the vascular system rather than a general role related to inducible secretion.

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