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Research Article

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

R P McEver, J H Beckstead, K L Moore, L Marshall-Carlson and D F Bainton

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

Published July 1989

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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