The protein profiles of washed platelets from nine patients with essential thrombocythemia were analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. In four patients, an additional protein band (reduced Mr of 170,000) was clearly identified in both unstimulated platelet preparations and thrombin-released supernatant fractions. This band was also evident, though to a lesser extent, in three more patients, but it could not be located in the two remaining patients nor in any of ten controls. Subsequent characterization of the 170,000 reduced protein in one patient indicated that (a) it was glycosylated, as judged by periodic acid-Schiff staining, and (b) that native protein was a disulfide-linked multimer (possibly trimeric), which (c) partially bound to the activated platelet plasma membrane in the presence of calcium, and (d) was immune precipitated by anti-glycoprotein G antisera. The combined evidence is consistent with the 170,000 reduced protein being a modified form of the normal subunit of the platelet alpha-granule constituent, glycoprotein G (also termed thrombospondin and thrombin-sensitive protein).
W J Booth, M C Berndt, P A Castaldi