A murine monoclonal antibody specific for glycoprotein (GP)IIIa was prepared by immunization with a GPIIb- and GPIIIa-enriched Triton X-114 extract of platelet membranes. This antibody, designated AP-3, was shown by indirect immunoprecipitation to react solely with GPIIIa derived from either P1A1-positive or -negative individuals. The epitope on GPIIIa recognized by AP-3 is expressed on dissociated GPIIIa as well as on Ca+2-dependent complexes of GPIIb and GPIIIa, as shown by crossed immunoelectrophoresis in the presence or absence of EDTA. A previously described monoclonal antibody specific for the GPIIb/IIIa complex (AP- 2) inhibited platelet aggregation induced by ADP, thrombin, collagen, or arachidonic acid (Pidard et al, J Biol Chem 258:12582–12586, 1983). In contrast, AP-3 had no effect on aggregation induced by any of these reagents, a finding similar to that previously reported for the GPIIb- specific monoclonal antibody, Tab (McEver et al, J Clin Invest 66:1311- 1318, 1980). At saturation, 40,200 AP-3 molecules were bound per platelet, a value similar to that obtained for AP-2 or Tab. Thus, data derived using AP-3 indicate that significant amounts of free GPIIIa are not present, thereby supporting the hypothesis that GPIIb and GPIIIa exist complexed in a 1:1 stoichiometry in the plasma membrane of intact, nonactivated platelets.

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