PMID: 37083May 15, 1979

An acid protease in human erythrocytes and its localization in the inner membrane

European Journal of Biochemistry
T MurakamiT Murachi


The isolation of erythrocytes of high purity from human blood was achieved by a combination of the two well established methods cells in erythrocyte preparations of different purities was studied. The acid protease activity was recovered to a level comparable with the recovery of erythrocytes, while the neutral protease activity as detected by the release of acid-soluble peptides from hemoglobin or casein disappeared in proportion to the removal of white blood cells. An acid protease was solubilized from the membranes of the purified erythrocytes by the extraction with 1-butanol. The enzyme was active in a pH range from 2 to 4, and sensitive to pepstatin. It was named pH-3 protease after its pH optimum. Sealed ghosts with right-side-out membranes and inside-out vesicles with reverted membranes were prepared from the purified erythrocytes and compared with respect to pH-3 protease activity for its latency as well as its inactivation by tryptic digestion. The results obtained indicate that pH-3 protase is localized on the inner surface of erythrocyte membranes. The self-digestion experiments at pH 4 using the sealed ghosts showed higher availability to pH-3 protease of spectrin and IVa protein than the other membrane proteins, al...Continue Reading


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