The effect of a zinc metalloprotease from Serratia marcescens on platelet surface glycoproteins (GP) Ib and V was analyzed. Increasing protease treatments caused progressive loss of GP Ib with appearance of the major fragment, glycocalicin, in the supernatant solution. No GP V was detected in the supernatant solution, and protease-pretreated platelets had the same capacity as control platelets to release fragment 1 of GP V in response to thrombin. The Serratia protease- pretreated platelets did show the lag before thrombin-induced dense granule secretion, characteristic of platelets modified by pretreatment with other nonstimulating proteases. Treatment with Serratia protease gives the only demonstrated selective loss of GP Ib without apparent effect on GP V. It suggests that GP V (1) does not depend on GP Ib for its association with platelets and (2) is not the substrate for protease modification of platelet function.

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