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Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2002 May-Jun;28(3):303-14.

Membrane transport in sickle cell disease.

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Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.


We have reviewed here a number of membrane transport events in red cells from normal individuals and sickle cell patients which respond to changes in O(2) tension. Some deoxygenation-induced changes in membrane permeability are unique to HbS cells and contribute to their dehydration and subsequent sickling. Polymerization of HbS, or specific oxidant damage (or altered redox potential), is a likely factor underlying the abnormal behavior. The key regulatory sites within the membrane or associated proteins remain uncertain and their identity will form the focus of future research. A model for sickle cell dehydration is presented. Inhibition of these permeability changes represents possible avenues for future chemotherapy to ameliorate the condition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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