von Willebrand factor synthesized by endothelial cells from a patient with type IIB von Willebrand disease supports platelet adhesion normally but has an increased affinity for platelets

P G de Groot, A B Federici, H C de Boer, P d'Alessio, P M Mannucci, J J Sixma
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1989, 86 (10): 3793-7
Endothelial cells were isolated from the umbilical vein of a patient with subtype IIB von Willebrand disease, and the biosynthesis and function of von Willebrand factor (vWF) synthesized by these cells were compared with those of vWF synthesized by endothelial cells from normal individuals. The patient's endothelial cells synthesized, stored, and secreted vWF indistinguishably from normal endothelial cells: it was synthesized as a prepolypeptide of Mr 270,000 and had a mature form of Mr 220,000; the full spectrum of multimers was found both inside the cells and in the culture medium; it was stored normally, in the Weibel-Palade bodies; and similar amounts of vWF were secreted into the medium and deposited in the extracellular matrix. In a perfusion set-up, the extracellular matrix from IIB cells supported platelet adhesion similarly to the matrix from normal cells. vWF secreted constitutively by IIB cells into the culture medium bound to platelets at concentrations of ristocetin lower than those necessary for vWF from normal cells. vWF stored in the Weibel-Palade bodies of type IIB cells was released upon stimulation with phorbol ester and bound almost completely to platelets even in the absence of ristocetin. Moreover, spontaneous platelet aggregation was induced by vWF synthesized by type IIB cells. These data support the hypothesis that the absence of highly multimeric forms of vWF in plasma of type IIB von Willebrand disease patients is due to specific removal of these multimers by platelets.

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