Crystal Structure of the GpIbα-Thrombin Complex Essential for Platelet Aggregation

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Science  11 Jul 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5630, pp. 222-226
DOI: 10.1126/science.1083917

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Direct interaction between platelet receptor glycoprotein Ibα (GpIbα) and thrombin is required for platelet aggregation and activation at sites of vascular injury. Abnormal GpIbα-thrombin binding is associated with many pathological conditions,including occlusive arterial thrombosis and bleeding disorders. The crystal structure of the GpIbα-thrombin complex at 2.6 angstrom resolution reveals simultaneous interactions of GpIbα with exosite I of one thrombin molecule,and with exosite II of a second thrombin molecule. In the crystal lattice,the periodic arrangement of GpIbα-thrombin complexes mirrors a scaffold that could serve as a driving force for tight platelet adhesion. The details of these interactions reconcile GpIbα-thrombin binding modes that are presently controversial,highlighting two distinct interfaces that are potential targets for development of novel antithrombotic drugs.

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