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Mol Genet Metab. 1999 Jan;66(1):56-61.

Effects of Ca2+ on erythrocyte membrane skeleton-bound phosphofructokinase, ATP levels, and hemolysis.

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Department of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, 52900, Israel.


Erythrocyte Ca2+ overload is known to occur in several different disease states, and to affect the erythrocyte membrane deformability. We show here that an increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration in erythrocytes, induced by ionomycin, caused a reduction in ATP levels. Concomitant to the fall in ATP, a marked activation of phosphofructokinase (PFK) (EC, the rate-limiting enzyme in glycolysis, in the membrane skeleton fraction occurred. The increase in the membrane skeleton-bound PFK activity was most probably mediated by Ca2+, as direct addition of Ca2+ to the membrane skeleton fraction from the erythrocyte induced an enhancement of the bound PFK activity. Time-response curves revealed that erythrocyte hemolysis did not occur during the first 30 min of incubation with ionomycin, when the membrane skeleton-bound PFK was activated. Longer incubation time resulted in solubilization of the membrane skeleton-bound PFK and a concomitant hemolysis of the erythrocytes. These results suggest that the Ca2+-induced activation of membrane skeleton-bound PFK, and thereby glycolysis, the sole source of energy in erythrocytes, may be a defense mechanism to surmount the damage induced by high Ca2+ levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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