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Red blood cell signaling in health and disease

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Recent proteomic and metabolomic data provide a fast growning number of indications that, for red blood cells:

1. The balance between energy production (glycolysis) and protection against oxidative damage (glutathione synthesis) is controlled by biophysical factors-induced and ...

Recent proteomic and metabolomic data provide a fast growning number of indications that, for red blood cells:

1. The balance between energy production (glycolysis) and protection against oxidative damage (glutathione synthesis) is controlled by biophysical factors-induced and phosphorylation-mediated signaling pathways.
2. These pathways control the metabolism of red blood cells, including the activity of hitherto barely recognised processes such as controlled proteolysis, redox status regulation, and amino acid and lipid metabolism.
3. Regulated transport systems enable the exchange of metabolites between the cytoplasm and the membrane on one hand, and between the red blood cells and the plasma on the other hand.
4. The activities of the metabolomic and related processes are affected by cellular aging in vivo in healthy individuals, by aging in vitro in the blood bank, and by accelerated aging in patients with various pathologies.

Taken together, the presently available data warrant an overview of the current knowledge on the identity of the signaling pathways that regulate the metabolism of red blood cells. This knowledge comes from various approaches, based on a fundamental, a clinical or a blood bank perspective. Such an overview, with signaling as the central theme, will pave the way for the development of approaches to manipulate red blood cell function and survival in hematological and systemic diseases.


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