Glycoprotein (GP) Ib is a major component of the platelet membrane receptor for von Willebrand factor, designated the GP Ib-IX-V complex. GP Ib is composed of two subunits (GP Ib(alpha) and GP Ib(beta)) each synthesized from separate genes. The 206 amino acid precursor of GP Ib(beta) is synthesized from a 1.0-kb mRNA expressed by megakaryocytes and was originally characterized from cDNA clones of human erythroleukemic (HEL) cell mRNA, a cell line exhibiting megakaryocytic-like properties. The cell line CHRF-288-11 also exhibits megakaryocytic-like properties, but synthesizes two related GP Ib(beta) mRNA species of 3.5 and 1.0 kb. We performed cDNA cloning experiments to identify the origin of the 3.5-kb transcript and determine its relationship to the 1.0-kb GP Ib(beta) mRNA found in megakaryocytes, platelets, and HEL cells. Our cloning experiments demonstrate that the longer transcript results from a nonconsensus polyadenylation recognition sequence, 5'AACAAT3', within a separate gene located upstream to the platelet GP Ib(beta) gene. In the absence of normal polyadenylation the more 5' gene uses the polyadenylation site within its 3' neighbor, the platelet GP Ib(beta) gene. This newly identified 5' gene contains an open reading frame encoding 369 amino acids with a high degree of sequence similarity to an expanding family of GTP-binding proteins.
B Zieger, Y Hashimoto, J Ware