A panel of monoclonal antibodies (Mab's) has been raised against human platelet thrombospondin (TSP). One Mab, designated A2.5, inhibits the hemagglutinating activity of TSP and immunoprecipitates the NH2 terminal 25 kD heparin binding domain of TSP (Dixit, V.M., D. M. Haverstick, K. M. O'Rourke, S. W. Hennessy, G. A. Grant, S. A. Santoro, and W. A. Frazier, 1985, Biochemistry, in press). Another Mab, C6.7, blocks the thrombin-stimulated aggregation of live platelets and immunoprecipitates an 18-kD fragment distinct from the heparin binding domain (Dixit, V. M., D. M. Haverstick, K. M. O'Rourke, S. W. Hennessy, G. A. Grant, S. A. Santoro, and W. A. Frazier, 1985, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 82: 3472-3476). To determine the relative locations of the epitopes for these Mabs in the three-dimensional structure of TSP, we have examined TSP-Mab complexes by electron microscopy of rotary-shadowed proteins. The TSP molecule is composed of three 180-kD subunits, each of which consists of a small globular domain (approximately 8 nm diam) and a larger globular domain (approximately 16 nm diam) connected by a thin, flexible strand. The subunit interaction site is on the thin connecting strands, nearer the small globular domains. Mab A2.5 binds to the cluster of three small domains, indicating that this region contains the heparin binding domain and thus represents the NH2 termini of the TSP peptide chains. Mab C6.7 binds to the large globular domains on the side opposite the point at which the connecting strand enters the domain, essentially the maximum possible distance from the A2.5 epitope. Using high sensitivity automated NH2 terminal sequencing of TSP chymotryptic peptides we have ordered these fragments within the TSP peptide chain and have confirmed that the epitope for C6.7 in fact lies near the extreme COOH terminus of the peptide chain. In combination with other data, we have been able to construct a map of the linear order of the identified domains of TSP that indicates that to a large extent, the domains are arranged co-linearly with the peptide chain.

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