Organization and function of platelet glycoprotein Ib-IX complex

Xi Mo, The University of Texas Grad. Sch. of Biomed. Sci. at Houston


Glycoprotein (GP) Ib-IX complex, the second most abundant receptor expressed on the platelet surface, plays critical roles in haemostasis and thrombosis by binding to its ligand, von Willebrand factor (vWF). Defect or malfunction of the complex leads to severe bleeding disorders, heart attack or stroke. Comprised of three type I transmembrane subunits—GPIbα, GPIbβ and GPIX, efficient expression of the GPIb-IX complex requires all three subunits, as evident from genetic mutations identified in the patients and reproduced in transfected Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. However, how the subunits are assembled together and how the complex function is regulated is not fully clear. By probing the interactions among the three subunits in transfected cells, we have demonstrated that the transmembrane domains of the three subunits interact with one another, facilitating formation of the two membrane-proximal disulfide bonds between GPIbα and GPIbβ. We have also identified the interface between extracellular domains of GPIbβ and GPIX, and provided evidence suggesting a direct interaction between extracellular domains of GPIbα and GPIX. All of these interactions are not only critical for correct assembly and consequently efficient expression of the GPIb-IX complex on the cell surface, but also for its function, such as the proper ligand binding, since removing the two inter-subunit disulfide bonds significantly hampers vWF binding to the complex under both static and physiological flow conditions. The two inter-subunit disulfide bonds are also critical for regulating the ectodomain shedding of GPIbα by the GPIbβ cytoplasmic domain. Mutations in the juxtamembrane region of the GPIbβ cytoplasmic domain deregulate GPIbα shedding, and such deregulation is further enhanced when the two inter-subunit disulfide bonds are removed. In summary, we have established the overall organization of the GPIb-IX complex, and the importance of proper organization on its function. ^

Subject Area

Biology, Molecular|Biology, Cell|Chemistry, Biochemistry

Recommended Citation

Mo, Xi, "Organization and function of platelet glycoprotein Ib-IX complex" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3376903.