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Spectrin as a stabilizer of the phospholipid asymmetry in the human erythrocyte membrane


, : Spectrin as a stabilizer of the phospholipid asymmetry in the human erythrocyte membrane. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 509(1): 21-32

After treatment of intact human erythrocytes with SH-oxidizing agents (e.g. tetrathionate and diamide) phospholipase A2 cleaves approx. 30% of the phosphatidylserine and 50% of the phosphatidylethanolamine without causing hemolysis (Haest, C.W.M. and Deuticke, B (1976) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 436, 353--365). These phospholipids are scarcely hydrolysed in fresh erythrocytes and are assumed to be located in the inner lipid layer of the membrane (Verkleij, A.J., Zwaal, R.F.A., Roelofsen, B., Comfurius, P., Kastelijn, D. and van Deenen, L.L.M. (1973) Biochim. Biophys Acta 323, 178--193). The enhancement of the phospholipid cleavage is now shown to be accompanied by a 50% decrease of the membrane SH-groups and a cross-linking of spectrin, located at the inner surface of the membrane, to oligomers of less than 10(6) dalton. Blocking approx. 10% of the membrane SH groups with N-ethylmaleimide suppresses both the polymerization of spectrin and the enhancement of the phospholipid cleavage. N-Ethylmaleimide, under these conditions, reacts with three SH groups per molecule of spectrin, 0.7 SH groups per major intrinsic 100 000 dalton protein (band 3) and 1.1 SH groups per molecule of an extrinsic protein of 72 000 daltons (band 4.2). Blocking studies with iodoacetamide demonstrate that the SH groups of the 100 000-dalton protein are not involved in the effects of the SH-oxidizing agents. It is suggested that a release of constraints imposed by spectrin enables phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylethanolamine to move from the inner to the outer lipid layer of the erythrocyte membrane and that spectrin, in the native erythrocyte, stabilizes the orientation of these phospholipids to the inner surface of the membrane.

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Accession: 041409005

PMID: 647006

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