A patient (OG) with Glanzmann thrombasthenia became refractory to platelet transfusion after the production of an immunoglobulin G (IgG) isoantibody (Ab1) specific for the integrin subunit beta 3. To determine the frequency at which the OG idiotype is found in the general population and in immune-mediated disease states, we developed a rabbit polyclonal antibody (Ab2) specific for affinity-purified OG anti-beta 3 Fab. The binding of Ab2 to Ab1 is inhibited by purified alpha IIb beta 3. Ab2 als binds to IgG specific for alpha IIb beta 3 obtained from one nonrelated Glanzmann thrombasthenia patient ES who has developed isoantibodies of similar specificity. On the other hand, Ab2 does not recognize alpha IIb beta 3-specific antibodies produced by two Glanzmann thrombasthenia patients, AF and LUC, who have developed isoantibodies with specificities distinct from that of the OG isoantibody. Moreover, Ab2 does not recognize alpha IIb beta 3-specific antibodies developed by three representative patients with (autoimmune) thrombocytopenic purpura or six representative patients with alloimmune thrombocytopenias, nor does it bind to IgG from any of 13 nonimmunized individuals. We have found that Ab2 also binds to selected protein ligands of alpha IIb beta 3 namely, fibrinogen, vitronectin, and von Willebrand factor, but not to other protein ligands or control proteins, such a fibronectin, type I collagen, and albumin. The epitope(s) recognized by Ab2 on each adhesive protein are either very similar or identical since each protein can inhibit the binding of Ab2 to any of the other proteins. The epitope on fibrinogen recognized by Ab2 resides in the B beta chain, and is likely contained within the first 42 amino acids from the NH2 terminus. Since OG IgG inhibits fibrinogen binding to alpha IIb beta 3, the specificity of the OG idiotype defines a novel binding motif for the integrin alpha IIb beta 3 that is shared by fibrinogen, vitronectin, and von Willebrand factor, but distinct from previously described RGD-containing sites on the fibrinogen, A alpha chain or the fibrinogen gamma chain COOH-terminal decapeptide site. Our findings reported here represent an excellent example of molecular mimicry in which an antigen-selected, IgG inhibitor of alpha IIb beta 3 function shares a novel recognition sequence common to three physiologic protein ligands of that receptor.

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