Polarized distribution of Mr 210,000 and 190,000 analogs of erythrocyte ankyrin along the plasma membrane of transporting epithelia, neurons and photoreceptors.
In the present study we have examined several types of nucleated cells with respect to the occurrence and subcellular distribution of ankyrin. In red blood cells ankyrin links and integral membrane protein, the anion channel (band 3), to the subplasmalemmal cytoskeleton which is comprised largely of spectrin and actin. Since nucleated cells also contain spectrin and other constituents of the erythrocyte membrane skeleton it is possible that in nonerythroid cells ankyrin is also important for connecting membrane proteins to the cytoskeleton. We show here that membrane fractions of rat brain and various types of rat epithelial cells contain analogs of ankyrin at Mr 210,000 and 190,000 that are immunologically related to human erythrocyte ankyrin. In transporting epithelial cells, such as epithelia of the intestine, pancreas, prostate or kidney (various species) the analogs of ankyrin are confined to the basolateral plasma membrane and are absent from the apical membrane. In neurons of the central and peripheral nervous system and in photoreceptors of the retina, ankyrin was found restricted to the membrane of the cell body and axons and was not detected by immunostaining along the afferent processes (dendrites, photoreceptor inner and outer segments). Linkage of integral membrane proteins via ankyrin to the spectrin-based membrane cytoskeleton may provide a molecular basis for restricting the lateral mobility of certain membrane proteins and localizing them in a nonrandom or polarized fashion at specialized domains of the plasma membrane.
Drenckhahn, D; Bennett, V
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