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

A structural model of human erythrocyte protein 4.1.

Limited proteolysis and specific chemical cleavage methods have enabled a detailed structural characterization of human erythrocyte protein 4. 1. This protein is composed of two chemically very similar polypeptide chains (a and b) with apparent molecular masses of 80,000 and 78,000 daltons. Cleavage of protein 4.1 at cysteine residues by 2-nitro-5-thiocyanobenzoic acid produces a series of doublets which differ by approximately 2,000 daltons and have identical peptide maps. Alignment of these peptides by mapping analysis has localized 4 cysteine residues within a 17,000-dalton segment on both a and b polypeptides. Mild chymotryptic treatment at 0 degrees C cleaves protein 4.1 primarily in three central locations and generates two families of unrelated peptides. Analysis of these fragments in two-dimensional gels and by peptide mapping reveals an unusual polarity in protein 4.1 structure in that each polypeptide chain contains two segments, one relatively acidic the other basic, that are segregated at opposite ends of the molecule. The basic region is digested into a cysteine-rich 30,000-dalton domain which resists further breakdown while the acidic region is readily degraded into smaller fragments. The peptides derived from the acidic region all appear as doublets suggesting that protein 4.1 a and b polypeptides differ close to the terminus of the acidic end. Similar phosphorylation sites occur on both polypeptides within a segment some 24,000-34,000 daltons from the acidic terminus.[1]


  1. A structural model of human erythrocyte protein 4.1. Leto, T.L., Marchesi, V.T. J. Biol. Chem. (1984) [Pubmed]
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