Vascular PG-M/versican variants promote platelet adhesion at low shear rates and cooperate with collagens to induce aggregation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We have identified a novel von Willebrand factor/fibrinogen/selectin-independent, platelet adhesion-promoting function of vascular PG-M/versicans that may be relevant in normal venous thrombosis and critical in atherosclerotic conditions. A purification scheme was devised to obtain vascular versicans, which by biochemical, immunochemical, and ultrastructural means were asserted to be 1) composed primarily of isoforms V1 and V2; 2) free of contaminants; 3) prevalently substituted with chondroitin-4-sulfate and dermatan sulfate (DS) chains; and 4) capable of binding hyaluronan to form link protein-stabilized ternary complexes. Real-time analysis of human platelet perfused under diverse shear forces showed that they largely failed to bind to several vascular and nonvascular proteoglycans (PGs). In contrast, they bound in a dose- and shear rate-dependent manner to vascular versicans, exhibiting a unique attachment-detachment kinetics and establishing a firm substrate tethering characterized with no significant aggregation. Digestion of these PGs with lyases and competition experiments with purified glycosaminoglycans revealed that platelet adhesion to vascular versicans was primarily mediated by their DS chains. Incorporation of the versicans into fibrillar collagen substrates augmented their adhesive activity and strongly promoted platelet aggregation at low and high shear rates. Affinity chromatography of platelet surfaces on DS columns identified a 120-140 kDa polypeptide complex that behaved as a specific vascular versican binding membrane ligand in solid-phase binding assays. These findings indicate that selective versican variants of the subendothelium may serve as ancillary GPIbalpha/integrin/selectin-independent platelet ligands in healthy and diseased vascular beds and may be directly responsible for the platelet accruing after rupture of atherosclerotic plaques., versican variants promote platelet adhesion at low shear rates and cooperate with collagens to induce aggregation.


  • M Mazzucato
  • M R Cozzi
  • P Pradella
  • D Perissinotto
  • Anders Malmström
  • Matthias Mörgelin
  • P Spessotto
  • A Colombatti
  • L De Marco
  • R Perris
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology


  • hemostasis, shear stress, proteoglycan
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1903-1916
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch