Antigenic Homology of HIV-1 GP41 and Human Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIIa (Integrin β3)

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Fifty-eight of 89 serum samples (65.17%) from HIV-1-infected individuals at various disease stages contain antibodies that react with a platelet peptide located in the cytoplasmic domain of integrin β3, glycoprotein GPIIIa (aa749-761; sequence DRKEFAKFEEERA). Rabbit polyclonal antibodies raised against the synthetic platelet peptide also react with the structurally homologous HIV-1 gp41-derived peptide (EKNEQELLELDKW(A)) and bind to a Western blot band with molecular weight corresponding to HIV-1 gp41. These findings point to molecular mimicry between HIV-1 and a human membrane protein found in platelets and other cells that could be of pathologic consequence.

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