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Spectrin beta-chain variant associated with hereditary elliptocytosis

, : Spectrin beta-chain variant associated with hereditary elliptocytosis. Journal of Clinical Investigation 70(4): 707-715

An electrophoretically fast-moving variant of the spectrin beta-chain was discovered in the erythrocyte membranes of a woman and her father who both exhibited elliptocytosis and mild hemolytic anemia. This abnormal beta'-subunit (Mr = 214,000) co-existed with a decreased normal beta-chain and represented about half of the total beta-chains in the membrane. In contrast to the spectrin beta-chain, the beta'-chain was phosphorylated neither in the membrane by endogenous protein kinases nor in solution by pure membrane casein kinase whether or not the spectrin was dephosphorylated by erythrocyte cytosolic spectrin phosphatase. The presence of the beta'-chain was associated with a defective self-association of spectrin dimer to form tetramer as manifested by: (a) an excess of spectrin dimer in the 4 degrees C spectrin crude extract, (b) a defective self-association of the spectrin dimer in the 37 degrees C crude spectrin extracts. Gel electrophoretic analysis of the tetramer and dimer species isolated from the proband's 4 degrees C extract showed that the tetramer contained trace amounts of the beta'-chain, whereas in contrast, a large proportion of beta'-chain was present in the dimer. These results demonstrated the responsibility of the beta'-chain for the defective reassociation of spectrin dimer into tetramer. The study of this abnormal spectrin confirms the participation of spectrin beta-chain in dimer-dimer association and strongly suggests that the phosphorylation sites of the normal beta-chain are located at the end of the molecule involved in the dimer-dimer interactions.

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Accession: 044375462

PMID: 7119110

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