Induced synthesis of albumin-like protein in damaged rat reticulocytes


Jelena Zaric, PhD, Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering, Vojvode Stepe 444a, PO Box 466, 11000 Belgrade, Yugoslavia. E-mail: zaricj@eunet.yu


In this study, we present evidence that red blood cell (RBC) membrane p68 in the Belgrade (b/b) rat is similar if not identical to rat serum albumin (RSA). Structural homology between RSA and the RBC p68 has been determined by a variety of biochemical and immunological criteria. This albumin-like protein is a normal constituent of rat RBC and it is partially exported by exosomes during erythroid differentiation. The endogenous origin of rat RBC albumin-like protein was demonstrated by monitoring protein synthesis in reticulocytes and by identification of reticulocyte mRNA for albumin. Haemolytic anaemia, either hereditary (b/b rat) or drug-induced (phenylhydrazine-treated normal rat), results in increased accumulation of the albumin-like protein in rat RBCs as a result of its induced synthesis.