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Research Article

A two-amino acid insertion in the Cys146- Cys167 loop of the alphaIIb subunit is associated with a variant of Glanzmann thrombasthenia. Critical role of Asp163 in ligand binding.

S Honda, Y Tomiyama, M Shiraga, S Tadokoro, J Takamatsu, H Saito, Y Kurata and Y Matsuzawa

The Second Department of Internal Medicine, Osaka University Medical School, Suita 565-0871, Japan.

Published September 15, 1998

The ligand binding site(s) of the alpha subunit of integrin alphaIIb beta3 (GPIIb-IIIa), a prototypic non-I domain integrin, remains elusive. In this study, we have characterized a Japanese variant of Glanzmann thrombasthenia, KO, whose platelets express normal amounts of alphaIIb beta3. KO platelets failed to bind the activation-independent ligand-mimetic mAb OP-G2 and did not bind fibrinogen or the activation-dependent ligand-mimetic mAb PAC-1 following activation of alphaIIb beta3 under any condition examined. Sequence analysis of PCR fragments derived from KO platelet mRNA revealed a 6-bp insertion leading to a 2-amino-acid insertion (Arg-Thr) between residues 160 and 161 of the alphaIIb subunit. Introduction of the insertion into wild-type recombinant alphaIIb beta3 expressed in 293 cells led to the normal expression of alphaIIb beta3 having the defect in ligand binding function. The insertion is located within the small loop (Cys146-Cys167) in the third NH2-terminal repeat of the alphaIIb subunit. Alanine substitution of each of the oxygenated residues within the loop (Thr150, Ser152, Glu157, Asp159, Ser161, and Asp163) did not significantly affect expression of alphaIIbbeta3, and only Asp163AlaalphaIIb beta3 abolished the ligand binding function. In addition, Asp163AlaalphaIIb beta3 as well as KO mutant alphaIIb beta3 constitutively expressed the PMI-1 epitope. Our present data suggest that Asp163 of the alphaIIb subunit is one of the critical residues for ligand binding.