Minimal Collagen-Binding Epitope of Glycoprotein VI in Human and Mouse Platelets
Glycoprotein VI (GPVI) is a platelet-specific receptor for collagen and fibrin, regulating important platelet functions such as platelet adhesion and thrombus growth. Although the blockade of GPVI function is widely recognized as a potent anti-thrombotic approach, there are limited studies focused on site-specific targeting of GPVI. Using computational modeling and bioinformatics, we analyzed collagen- and CRP-binding surfaces of GPVI monomers and dimers, and compared the interacting surfaces with other mammalian GPVI isoforms. We could predict a minimal collagen-binding epitope of GPVI dimer and designed an EA-20 antibody that recognizes a linear epitope of this surface. Using platelets and whole blood samples donated from wild-type and humanized GPVI transgenic mice and also humans, our experimental results show that the EA-20 antibody inhibits platelet adhesion and aggregation in response to collagen and CRP, but not to fibrin. The EA-20 antibody also prevents thrombus formation in whole blood, on the collagen-coated surface, in arterial flow conditions. We also show that EA-20 does not influence GPVI clustering or receptor shedding. Therefore, we propose that blockade of this minimal collagen-binding epitope of GPVI with the EA-20 antibody could represent a new anti-thrombotic approach by inhibiting specific interactions between GPVI and the collagen matrix.