Abstract

Two heparin-neutralizing proteins secreted by thrombin-stimulated platelets were purified to homogeneity by means of heparin-agarose affinity chromatography. These proteins, termed porcine platelet basic protein (PBP) and porcine platelet factor 4 (PF4), were eluted from a heparin-agarose column at 0.6–0.9 M NaCl and at 1–1.4 M NaCl, respectively. The molecular weight of porcine platelet basic protein was 7,000–7,700 daltons, as estimated by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and amino acid analysis. The isoelectric point of this protein was at pH 9.0. The amino acid composition of porcine platelet basic protein resembled that of human low affinity platelet factor 4 (LA-PF4), except that the porcine protein did not contain tyrosine. The molecular weight of porcine platelet factor 4 ranged from 10,000 (estimated from amino acid analysis) to 14,000 (estimated by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis). The amino acid compositions of human platelet factor 4 and of porcine platelet factor 4 were similar. Monospecific antibodies against porcine platelet factor 4 and porcine platelet basic protein were raised in rabbits. Competitive radioimmunoassay demonstrated a low but significant immunologic cross-reactivity between human and porcine platelet factor 4, and between porcine platelet basic protein and a group of human secreted platelet proteins that bind to heparin with low affinity (beta-thromboglobulin [beta TG] and low affinity platelet factor 4). Experiments with direct immuno- precipitation of 125I-labeled antigens suggested that all four proteins investigated (human platelet factor 4, porcine platelet factor 4, human low affinity platelet factor 4 or human beta-thromboglobulin, and porcine platelet basic protein) share common antigenic determinants. However, there was a higher degree of immunologic cross-reactivity between heterologous antigens with similar heparin binding affinity (human platelet factor 4 and porcine platelet factor 4) than between heterologous antigens with different binding affinity (human platelet factor 4 and porcine platelet basic protein). In conclusion, our finding suggests a significant structural homology among the four proteins.

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