Analysis of Erythrocyte and Platelet Membrane Proteins in Various Forms of β-Thalassemia

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Major membrane proteins have been quantitatively analyzed in erythrocytes and platelets from patients with homozygous (splenectomized and non-splenectomized) and heterozygous forms of β-thalassemia depending on severity of clinical manifestation of this disease. Quantitative analysis of erythrocyte membrane proteins revealed increase in α- and β-spectrin. (In non-splenectomized patients with homozygous β-thalassemia the amount of this protein was lower than in corresponding controls.) Besides spectrin, the increase of 2.1-2.3 fractions of ankyrin and the decrease of band 3 protein (anion-transport protein), 4.1, palladin, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase were also found. Analysis of major platelet membrane proteins revealed significant increase in gelsolin. This increase was found in all forms of β-thalassemia irrespective of gender. Significant changes in platelet membrane protein fractions were found in patients (especially non-splenectomized) with homozygous β-thalassemia. These included significant decrease in myosin, profilin, and γ-actin and increase in actin-binding protein in both male and female patients. The content of other protein fractions (α-actinin, tubulin, tropomyosin) remained unchanged. Changes in protein fractions of erythrocytes and platelets correlated with severity of clinical manifestation of the disease.

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