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J Biol Chem. 1987 Mar 5;262(7):3030-6.

Thrombin interaction with platelets. Influence of a platelet protease nexin.


A fraction of the 125I-thrombin that binds to human platelets is taken into a sodium dodecyl sulfate-resistant 77 kDa complex with a platelet factor (Bennett, W. F., and Glenn, K. C. (1980) Cell 22, 621-627). Here we show that this platelet factor is in several respects similar to protease nexin I (PNI), a fibroblast thrombin inhibitor. The complexes are of the appropriate size, bind to Sepharose that has been derivatized with anti-PNI antibody, do not form when the thrombin active site has been blocked with diisopropylphosphofluoridate, and do not appear on platelets when heparin is present. However, the platelet factor does not bind urokinase, indicating that this "platelet PN" may be distinct from PNI. Following brief incubation with 125I-thrombin, platelet PN X 125I X thrombin complexes are found both associated with the platelets and free in the binding medium. 125I-Thrombin has a higher affinity for platelet PN than for platelet receptors. In 30-s binding incubations carried out with thrombin at concentrations below 0.3 nM, formation of the 77-kDa complex accounts for most of the platelet specific binding of 125I-thrombin. Subtracting this large contribution to 125I-thrombin-specific binding reveals that the reversible binding of 125I-thrombin to platelet receptors exhibits sigmoidal thrombin dose-dependence. Thrombin stimulation of platelet [14C]serotonin release exhibits similar thrombin dose dependence. These results indicate that platelets may possess a mechanism for suppressing their interaction with active thrombin at thrombin doses below 0.3 nM. It is possible that platelet PN carries out this function by capturing thrombin before thrombin binds to its signal-transmitting receptors.

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