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FEBS Lett. 2010 Aug 20;584(16):3667-71. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2010.07.041. Epub 2010 Jul 27.

Maintenance of red blood cell integrity by AMP-activated protein kinase alpha1 catalytic subunit.

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Institut Cochin, Université Paris Descartes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (UMR8104), Paris, France; INSERM, U1016, Paris, France.


AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a pivotal role in regulating cellular energy metabolism. We previously showed that AMPKalpha1-/- mice develop moderate anemia associated with splenomegaly and high reticulocytosis. Here, we report that splenectomy of AMPKalpha1-/- mice worsened anemia supporting evidence that AMPKalpha1-/- mice developed a compensatory response through extramedullary erythropoiesis in the spleen. Transplantation of bone marrow from AMPKalpha1-/- mice into wild-type recipients recapitulated the hematologic phenotype. Further, AMPKalpha1-/- red blood cells (RBC) showed less deformability in response to shear stress limiting their membrane flexibility. Thus, our results highlight the crucial role of AMPK to preserve RBC integrity.

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