Abstract

In a previous report (Blood 60:265, 1982), we described a family with an abnormal RBC membrane protein doublet, which we considered a shortened protein 4.1 on the basis of biochemical and genetic data. Using an anti-4.1 monoclonal antibody, we confirm here that the shortened protein derives from protein 4.1. One of the members of the family contemporaneously displayed the 4.1 (-) trait, eg, the heterozygous state of this variety of hereditary elliptocytosis that lacks protein 4.1. The 4.1a/4.1b ratio was low whenever the 4.1 trait was present, regardless of the type of protein 4.1 involved. The RBCs of the compound heterozygote, containing only the shortened species of protein 4.1, made it possible to analyze without interference the contact between shortened protein 4.1 and sialoglycoprotein beta, or glycoconnectin. Shortened protein 4.1 did not alter the amount of glycoconnectin in the ghosts nor did it change its extractability into the Triton shells. Limited proteolysis of shortened polypeptides 4.1a and 4.1b showed that they are sequence related. It is conflicting that the persons carrying the shortened protein 4.1 are devoid of specific clinical and morphological abnormalities, apart from those pertaining to the 4.1- trait, when the latter is present.

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