Effects of lysolecithin on the surface properties of human erythrocytes

Y. Marikovsky, C. S. Brown, R. S. Weinstein, H. H. Wortis

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33 Scopus citations


Human red blood cells (RBCs), transformed by incubation with the amphiphatic compound lysolecithin from their normal discocyte shape into echinocytes, have increased rates of agglutination in the presence of either poly-l-lysine (PLL) or soybean agglutinin (SBA). Removal of lysolecithin by washing caused a reversal of shape back to the discocyte configuration and a lowering of agglutination rates. Methochlorpromazine, another amphiphatic echinocytogenic substance produced a similar increase in agglutination rates, suggesting that increased agglutinability may be a general property of echinocytes. Lysolecithin treatment of RBCs caused a decrease in the binding of cationized ferritin (CF) particles/μm2 of RBC surface. The decrease in CF binding is due to a rearrangement of negative charge bearing molecules on the RBC surface rather than shedding of charged groups. These observations support the hypothesis that integral membrane proteins which bear negative charges and receptors are associated with a cytoskeleton within the red cell. Alterations in cell shape which result in distortion of the cytoskeleton may cause a redistribution of integral membrane proteins which bear charged groups at the RBC surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-324
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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