Direct Cytoskeleton Forces Cause Membrane Softening in Red Blood Cells

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Rodríguez García, Ruddi and López-Montero, Iván and Mell, Michael and Egea, Gustavo and Gov, Nir S. and Monroy Muñoz, Francisco (2015) Direct Cytoskeleton Forces Cause Membrane Softening in Red Blood Cells. Biophysical Journal, 108 (12). pp. 2794-2806. ISSN 0006-3495

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2015.05.005



Abstract

Erythrocytes are flexible cells specialized in the systemic transport of oxygen in vertebrates. This physiological function is connected to their outstanding ability to deform in passing through narrow capillaries. In recent years, there has been an influx of experimental evidence of enhanced cell-shape fluctuations related to metabolically driven activity of the erythroid membrane skeleton. However, no direct observation of the active cytoskeleton forces has yet been reported to our knowledge. Here, we show experimental evidence of the presence of temporally correlated forces superposed over the thermal fluctuations of the erythrocyte membrane. These forces are ATP-dependent and drive enhanced flickering motions in human erythrocytes. Theoretical analyses provide support for a direct force exerted on the membrane by the cytoskeleton nodes as pulses of well-defined average duration. In addition, such metabolically regulated active forces cause global membrane softening, a mechanical attribute related to the functional erythroid deformability.


Item Type:Article
Additional Information:

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (ERC grant agreement n° 338133)

Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Chemistry, Physical and theoretical
Medical sciences > Biology > Biochemistry
ID Code:60105
Deposited On:23 Apr 2020 07:06
Last Modified:23 Apr 2020 07:08

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