Abstract

Human factor VIII--von Willebrand factor (vWF) is a large, multimeric glycoprotein that plays a central role in the blood coagulation system, serving both as a carrier for factor VIIIC (antihemophilic factor) and as a major mediator of platelet-vessel wall interaction. Diminished or abnormal vWF activity results in von Willebrand's disease (vWD), a common and complex hereditary bleeding disorder. Overlapping vWF cDNA clones that span 8.2 kilobases of the vWF messenger RNA have been obtained. vWF accounts for approximately 0.3 percent of endothelial cell messenger RNA and was undetectable in several other tissues examined. A large single copy gene for vWF is located on the short arm of chromosome 12 (12p12----12pter). No gross gene rearrangement or deletion was detected in the DNA of two patients with severe vWD.