Previous reports have described conflicting results concerning the glycoprotein (GP) and protein composition of Bernard-Soulier platelets. In view of this controversy we have analyzed the platelets of four Bernard-Soulier patients using improved single and two-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis procedures. An absence of staining for carbohydrate of membrane GP Ib was characteristic for the platelets of each patient. Major periodate-Schiff staining bands corresponding to membrane GP IIb, IIIa, and IIIb were clearly detected and their presence was confirmed by two-dimensional SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The protein content of the Bernard-Soulier platelets was increased two- to fourfold. However, analysis of their protein composition using 7-12% acrylamide gradient gels showed normal polypeptide profiles. Lactoperoxidase-catalyzed 125I-labeling of the Bernard-Soulier platelet surface proteins was followed by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and autoradiography. No labeling in the Ib position was detected whereas the other major membrane GP, including Ia and IIa, were normally located. In contrast, GP Ib was clearly detected by periodate-Schiff staining and autoradiography when normal human platelets that had been exhaustively treated with neuraminidase before the lactoperoxidase-catalyzed iodination were analysed. No abnormalities were detected in the GP patterns of membranes isolated from the patients' erythrocytes. Only a severe molecular abnormality or possible deletion of GP Ib could account for this major platelet lesion in the Bernard-Soulier syndrome.
A T Nurden, D Dupuis, T J Kunicki, J P Caen