Platelet glycoprotein VI-related clinical defects


Robert K. Andrews, Department of Immunology, Monash University, Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP), Melbourne 3004, Australia. E-mail


Human patients with defects associated with the platelet collagen receptor, glycoprotein (GP)VI, are rare and usually described as having a mild bleeding disorder. However, here we review clinical profiles of patients with familial or acquired GPVI defects, revealing the bleeding defect is often severe and associated with immune dysfunction. GPVI is a member of the immunoreceptor family, and co-expressed on platelets with Fc receptor γ-chain (FcRγ). Ligand binding to GPVI leads to activation of platelet integrins, in particular αIIbβ3 that mediates platelet aggregation; and activation of endogenous platelet metalloproteinases resulting in ectodomain shedding and release of a soluble GPVI fragment. Increasing evidence supports the functional importance of GPVI/FcRγ in thrombus formation at arterial shear rates, and expression levels of platelet GPVI may be a marker of thrombotic risk. Over the past 20 years, patients have been reported with GPVI-related defects involving: (i) an acquired deficiency, resulting from (a) anti-GPVI autoantibodies or (b) other causes; or (ii) a congenital deficiency, where (c) GPVI is not expressed or (d) is expressed in a dysfunctional form with defective signalling to αIIbβ3. Clinical consequences of GPVI-related defects may be uniquely informative about the role of platelet GPVI in health and disease.