Recently, the contractile protein alpha-actinin was identified in normal human platelets by its antigenic cross-reaction with a monospecific antibody to purified muscle alpha-actinin. In this study, we extend that preliminary identification of platelet alpha-actinin. Amino acid analysis, one-dimensional peptide maps, and silver stain analysis on polyacrylamide gels demonstrate that human platelet alpha- actinin shows a greater degree of similarity to smooth muscle alpha- actinin than to striated muscle alpha-actinin. There is no evidence to suggest that alpha-actinin is a glycoprotein. In addition, we find that thrombasthenic platelets, which are deficient in glycoproteins IIb and IIIa (GPIIb and GPIIIa) contain normal amounts of alpha-actinin, confirming the recent finding that alpha-actinin and GPIIIa are different proteins in human platelets. We demonstrate that both normal and thrombasthenic platelets also contain vinculin, a 130,000-dalton polypeptide found in many cell types at sites of end-on attachment of microfilaments to the plasma membrane. Thus, the thrombasthenic defect in GPIIb and GPIIIa does not diminish the content of either alpha- actinin or vinculin.

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