A collagen-like immunodeterminant on the surface of Streptococcus sanguis induces platelet aggregation

P. R. Erickson, M. C. Herzberg

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34 Scopus citations


The basis of similarities in the mechanism of human platelet aggregation induced by soluble collagen and the dental plaque bacterium Streptococcus sanguis was analyzed. Structural and functional comparisons were made by using molecular probes, including rabbit antibody fractions reactive with components on S. sanguis and a synthetic, collagen-like octapeptide mimicking segments from cyanogen bromide fragments 6 and 4 of types I and III collagen, respectively. When platelets were pretreated with tryptic peptides or class II antigen of S. sanguis or with the synthetic, collagen-like octapeptide, the onset of aggregation in response to S. sanguis and collagen was prolonged. When compared to other peptides of similar size and charge, the collagen-like peptide's action towards platelets was shown to be selective. Indeed, absorption of antiserum to S. sanguis cells with particulate type I collagen removed specificities directed at a single S. sanguis antigen. These observations suggested that a common platelet-interactive immunodeterminant on soluble types I and III collagens, particulate type I collagen, and S. sanguis cells was present. Selective inhibition by antibody was used to show structural similarities between the S. sanguis surface proteins and collagen. When either agonist was pretreated with anti-S. sanguis IgG or Fab fragments, the lag time to onset of platelet aggregation was increased. Greater increases in the lag time to aggregation was seen when S. sanguis cells or collagen were pretreated with anti-S. sanguis IgG or Fab fragments made relatively specific for the class II antigen. Neutralization of the platelet-interactive action of the octapeptide by anti-S. sanguis antibody fractions showed that the immunodeterminant common to S. sanguis and collagen triggered platelets in plasma to aggregate. Although the anti-S. sanguis antibodies could inhibit fibrillogenesis, this action was apparently independent of interactions with platelets. In contrast, S. sanguis could bind or adhere to platelets by different determinants. Our data suggest that platelets have at least two distinct sites that bind collagen or S. sanguis. One of these may be a common site for collagen and S. sanguis agonists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3360-3366
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1987


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