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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A genetic defect in the binding of protein 4.1 to spectrin in a kindred with hereditary spherocytosis.

Indirect evidence suggests that the genetic defect in hereditary spherocytosis lies in the erythrocyte membrane skeleton, a submembranous meshwork of proteins (principally spectrin, actin, and protein 4.1) responsible for membrane shape and structural stability. To test this premise we systematically assayed the interactions of spectrin, the major skeletal protein, in six kindreds with autosomal dominant hereditary spherocytosis. In one these kindreds, enhancement of spectrin-actin binding by protein 4.1 was reduced, owing to a 39 +/- 4 per cent decrease (mean +/- S.D) in the binding of normal protein 4.1 by spectrin, in all of four members with the disorder. The defective spectrin was separated into two populations by affinity chromatography on immobilized normal protein 4. 1. One population (41 +/- 2 per cent) lacked the ability to bind 4.1, but the other functioned normally. Presumable, the nonfunctional spectrin was the product of the autosomal dominant gene responsible for the hereditary spherocytosis in this kindred.[1]


  1. A genetic defect in the binding of protein 4.1 to spectrin in a kindred with hereditary spherocytosis. Wolfe, L.C., John, K.M., Falcone, J.C., Byrne, A.M., Lux, S.E. N. Engl. J. Med. (1982) [Pubmed]
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