Cadherin 6 Has a Functional Role in Platelet Aggregation and Thrombus Formation
Objective—Thrombosis occurs at sites of vascular injury when platelets adhere to subendothelial matrix proteins and to each other. Platelets express many surface receptor proteins, the function of several of these remains poorly characterized. Cadherin 6 is expressed on the platelet surface and contains an arginine-glycine-aspartic acid motif, suggesting that it might have a supportive role in thrombus formation. The aim of this study was to characterize the role of cadherin 6 in platelet function.
Methods and Results—Platelet aggregation was inhibited by both antibodies and exogenous soluble cadherin 6. Platelet adhesion to immobilized cadherin 6 was inhibited by arginine-glycine-aspartic acid-serine tetrapeptides. Antibodies to αIIbβ3 inhibited platelet adhesion to cadherin 6. Because platelet aggregation occurs in fibrinogen and von Willebrand factor double-deficient mice, we investigated whether cadherin 6 is an alternative ligand for the integrin αIIbβ3. Platelet aggregation in fibrinogen and von Willebrand factor double-deficient mice was significantly inhibited by an antibody to cadherin 6. In flow-based assays, inhibition of cadherin 6 caused a marked reduction in thrombus formation in both human and mouse blood.
Conclusion—This study demonstrates the role of cadherin 6 as a novel ligand for αIIbβ3 and highlights its function in thrombus formation.
- Received January 4, 2012.
- Accepted April 11, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.