Family members heterozygous for the congenitally abnormal fibrinogen designated fibrinogen Manchester, A alpha 16Arg→His, have previously been shown by h.p.l.c. and amino acid analysis to release a variant fibrinopeptide, [His16]fibrinopeptide A, from plasma fibrinogen after the addition of thrombin. The present study was designed to determine if the same abnormal phenotype was also present in the intraplatelet fibrinogen pool. Fresh platelets were washed in buffers containing EDTA until it could be shown that all washable plasma fibrinogen was removed. Normal platelets were then lysed by freezing and thawing to release their intracellular proteins, which were then treated with thrombin. The fibrinopeptides, cleaved from the intraplatelet fibrinogen, could be detected by an optimized h.p.l.c. technique. Quantification of the intraplatelet fibrinogen gave a result (means +/- S.D., n = 5) of 110 +/- 30 and 90 +/- 30 micrograms/10(9) platelets, when determined by h.p.l.c. quantification of fibrinopeptide B content and fibrinogen fragment E radioimmunoassay respectively. Examination of fibrinopeptides released from the platelet fibrinogen from the family with fibrinogen Manchester with the same techniques showed elution peaks in the same positions as both [His16]fibrinopeptide A and normal fibrinopeptide A. The identity of these peaks was further substantiated by analysis of the h.p.l.c. peaks by using specific radioimmunoassay to fibrinopeptide A. Our results therefore demonstrate that platelet fibrinogen expresses the heterozygous A alpha 16His phenotype. This supports the view that the A alpha chains of platelet and plasma fibrinogen are produced from a single genetic locus.

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