Abstract. The abnormal erythrocyte of the McLeod phenotype displays a reduced Kell blood group expression, an abnormal morphology in about 30% of the total red blood cell population and a decrease in water permeability. These parameters have previously been shown to be independent of membrane lipid composition, microviscosity and electrolyte transport. Findings such as these seem to implicate the involvement of a defective membrane protein. The present study investigated membrane composition by utilizing two techniques: freeze‐fracture electron microscopy and discontinuous polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Electrophoretic scans revealed no apparent band additions or deletions showing McLeod membrane protein composition to be normal. Freeze‐fracture electron microscopy did show a significant increase in intramembrane particle density. These findings may be resolved by proposing a dissociation of the band 3 glycoprotein. Unlinkage of this polypeptide, thought to be involved in water transport and intramembranous particle composition, could account for the decreased water transport and increased particle density seen in the McLeod erythrocyte membrane.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - May 1982|
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