Erythrocyte plasma membrane-bound ERK1/2 activation promotes ICAM-4-mediated sickle red cell adhesion to endothelium.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The core pathology of sickle cell disease (SCD) starts with the erythrocyte (RBC). Aberration in MAPK/ERK1/2 signaling, which can regulate cell adhesion, occurs in diverse pathologies. Because RBCs contain abundant ERK1/2, we predicted that ERK1/2 is functional in sickle (SS) RBCs and promotes adherence, a hallmark of SCD. ERK1/2 remained active in SS but not normal RBCs. β(2)-adrenergic receptor stimulation by epinephrine can enhance ERK1/2 activity only in SS RBCs via PKA- and tyrosine kinase p72(syk)-dependent pathways. ERK signaling is implicated in RBC ICAM-4 phosphorylation, promoting SS RBC adhesion to the endothelium. SS RBC adhesion and phosphorylation of both ERK and ICAM-4 all decreased with continued cell exposure to epinephrine, implying that activation of ICAM-4-mediated SS RBC adhesion is temporally associated with ERK1/2 activation. Furthermore, recombinant ERK2 phosphorylated α- and β-adducins and dematin at the ERK consensus motif. Cytoskeletal protein 4.1 also showed dynamic phosphorylation but not at the ERK consensus motif. These results demonstrate that ERK activation induces phosphorylation of cytoskeletal proteins and the adhesion molecule ICAM-4, promoting SS RBC adhesion to the endothelium. Thus, blocking RBC ERK1/2 activation, such as that promoted by catecholamine stress hormones, could ameliorate SCD pathophysiology.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zennadi, R; Whalen, EJ; Soderblom, EJ; Alexander, SC; Thompson, JW; Dubois, LG; Moseley, MA; Telen, MJ

Published Date

  • February 2, 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 119 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1217 - 1227

PubMed ID

  • 22147898

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3277354

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1528-0020

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1182/blood-2011-03-344440


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States