LW protein: a promiscuous integrin receptor activated by adrenergic signaling.
The LW blood group antigen glycoprotein, although part of the Rh macromolecular complex, is nonetheless a member of the intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM) family. Thus, while it is only rarely clinically important in the setting of transfusion and pregnancy, LW is likely to contribute to red cell adhesion in a variety of settings, including during hematopoiesis, as well as in vascular disorders. The best documentation of a pathophysiological role for LW in human disease is in sickle cell disease, where it contributes to red cell adhesion to endothelial cells and the development of vaso-occlusion, the hallmark of that disease. LW may also contribute to other intravascular processes, such as both venous and arterial thrombosis, due to its ability to interact with both activated platelets as well as leukocytes. The evidence that LW itself can undergo activation on red cells holds promise that pharmacotherapeutic maneuvers may be found to prevent such pathophysiologic interactions.
Delahunty, M; Zennadi, R; Telen, MJ
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