A library of eight conformation-dependent monoclonal antibodies that react with distinct epitopes on native human type III collagen has been examined for the ability of these antibodies to inhibit platelet aggregation induced by this collagen. Six of these antibodies had no effects; one, 1E7-D7/Col3, delayed the onset and slowed the rate of platelet aggregation, while another, 2G8-B1/Col3, completely inhibited aggregation. In order to identify the epitope recognized by this inhibitory antibody, a series of peptides that could fold to form triple-helical fragments was examined. Each peptide included six Gly-Xaa-Yaa triplets from the human type III collagen sequence, where Xaa and Yaa represent the particular amino acids in the sequence, and a C-terminal (Gly-Pro-Hyp)4 sequence to enhance triple-helical stability. Using these peptides we have identified the epitope as a nine-amino-acid sequence, GLAGAOGLR (where O is the one-letter code for 4-hydroxyproline), starting at position 520 in the human type III collagen helical domain. This sequence is proximal to the site proposed for the interaction of type III collagen with α2β1-integrin of platelets.

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