Integrin beta-3 (β3) or CD61 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the ITGB3 gene. The ITGB3 gene provides instructions for making the beta3 subunit of a receptor protein called integrin alphaIIb/beta3 (αIIbβ3), which is found on the surface of small cell fragments called platelets. Platelets circulate in blood and are an essential component of blood clots. The beta3 subunit attaches (binds) to the alphaIIb subunit, which is produced from the ITGA2B gene, to form integrin αIIbβ3. It is estimated that 80,000 to 100,000 copies of integrin αIIbβ3 are present on the surface of each platelet. During clot formation, integrin αIIbβ3 binds to a protein called fibrinogen. Attachment of integrin αIIbβ3 from adjacent platelets to the same fibrinogen protein helps platelets cluster together (platelet cohesion) to form a blood clot. Blood clots protect the body after injury by sealing off damaged blood vessels and preventing further blood loss. Integrin αIIbβ3 can also bind other proteins on platelets and in the blood as well as proteins within the intricate lattice that forms in the space between cells (extracellular matrix) to ensure proper clot formation and promote wound healing.
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