Phosphatidylserine (PS), which is normally localized in the cytoplasmic leaflet of the membrane, flip-flops to the external leaflet during aging of, or trauma to, cells. A fraction of this PS undergoes shedding into the extracellular milieu. PS externalization and shedding change during maturation of erythroid cells and affect the functioning, senescence and elimination of mature RBCs. Several lines of evidence suggest dependence of PS shedding on intracellular Ca concentration as well as on interaction between plasma membrane phospholipids and microtubules (MTs), the key components of the cytoskeleton. We investigated the effect of Ca flux and MT assembly on the distribution of PS across, and shedding from, the membranes of erythroid precursors. Cultured human and murine erythroid precursors were treated with the Ca ionophore A23187, the MT assembly enhancer paclitaxel (Taxol) or the inhibitor colchicine. PS externalization and shedding were measured by flow cytometry and the cholesterol/phospholipids in RBC membranes and supernatants, by 1H-NMR. We found that treatment with Taxol or colchicine resulted in a marked increase in PS externalization, while shedding was increased by colchicine but inhibited by Taxol. These results indicate that PS externalization is mediated by Ca flux, and PS shedding by both Ca flux and MT assembly. The cholesterol/phospholipid ratio in the membrane is modified by PS shedding; we now show that it was increased by colchicine and A23187, while taxol had no effect. In summary, the results indicate that the Ca flux and MT depolymerization of erythroid precursors mediate their PS externalization and shedding, which in turn changes their membrane composition.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 24, 2012
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