PMID: 7085754Mar 1, 1982Paper

Role of the reticulum in the stability and shape of the isolated human erythrocyte membrane

The Journal of Cell Biology
Y LangeT L Steck

Abstract

In order to examine the widely held hypothesis that the reticulum of proteins which covers the cytoplamsic surface of the human erythrocyte membrane controls cell stability and shape, we have assessed some of its properties. The reticulum, freed of the bilayer by extraction with Triton X-100, was found to be mechanically stable at physiological ionic strength but physically unstable at low ionic strength. The reticulum broke down after a characteristic lag period which decreased 500-fold between 0 degrees and 37 degrees C. The release of polypeptide band 4.1 from the reticulum preceded that of spectrin and actin, suggesting that band 4.1 might stabilize the ensemble but is not essential to its integrity. The time-course of breakdown was similar for ghosts, the reticulum inside of ghosts, and the isolated reticulum. However, at very low ionic strength, the reticulum was less stable within the ghost than when free; at higher ionic strength, the reverse was true. Over a wide range of conditions the membrane broke down to vesicles just as the reticulum disintegrated, presumably because the bilayer was mechanically stabilized by this network. The volume of both ghosts and naked reticula varied inversely and reversibly with ionic str...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Isoactin
Serum Proteins
Red Cell Ghost
Erythrocytes
Cell Surface Proteins
Osmolality
Spectrin

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