Because the interaction of denatured hemoglobins (i.e. hemichromes) with the red cell membrane has been associated with several abnormalities commonly observed in hemichrome-containing erythrocytes, we have undertaken to isolate and characterize the hemichrome-rich membrane protein aggregates from sickle cells. The aggregates were isolated by two procedures: one at low ionic strength by centrifugation of detergent-solubilized spectrin-depleted inside-out vesicles, and the other at physiological ionic strength by detergent solubilization of whole cells followed by cytoskeletal disruption and centrifugation. The extensively washed aggregates obtained by both methods yielded similar results. These insoluble complexes were found to be highly cross-linked by predominantly intermolecular disulfide bonds; however, other nonreducible covalent linkages were also observed. Both in the presence and absence of reducing agents, the aggregate disintegrated when the hemichromes were removed by high ionic strength, suggesting that the aggregate depended heavily on the cohesive properties of the hemichromes for stability. Protein assays demonstrated that the aggregates comprised approximately 1.3% of the total membrane protein, roughly two-thirds of which appeared to be globin chains. Other major components identified in the aggregate were band 3, ankyrin, bands 4.1, 4.9, and 5, glycophorins A and B, and autologous IgG. Quantitative analysis of the IgG content demonstrated that three-fourths of the surface-bound IgG on washed sickle cells was clustered at these aggregate sites, representing an enrichment of ~250-fold over nonaggregated regions of the membrane. Since clustered cell surface IgG is thought to trigger removal of erythrocytes from circulation, the hemichrome-induced membrane reorganization at these aggregate sites may be an important cause of the greatly shortened life span of sickle cells.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|State||Published - 1988|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology