Research Topic

Membrane Processes in Erythroid Development and Red Cell Life Time

About this Research Topic

The ontogenic development of the mammalian red blood cell (RBC) appears to be teleologically aimed at attaining an optimal morphology, the biconcave disk, to warrant elastic deformability to a cell that will face tremendous mechanical stress when traveling around the entire circulatory system for ...

The ontogenic development of the mammalian red blood cell (RBC) appears to be teleologically aimed at attaining an optimal morphology, the biconcave disk, to warrant elastic deformability to a cell that will face tremendous mechanical stress when traveling around the entire circulatory system for approximately 170000 times (in humans) during its entire life-time. Paramount for ensuring mechanical stability to the plasma membrane is the membrane skeleton, a protein lattice that has evolved as a robust, yet flexible, scaffold to support an otherwise fragile lipid bilayer.

Historically, RBCs have been the model of choice on which to develop new technologies and to explore their possibilities. This is still true today, when various "omics", from proteomics to metabolomics or exposomics, are applied to RBC research and reveal new and sometimes unexpected properties of this cell type. It could be said that the main function of the RBC is based on its content, a 5 mM solution of haemoglobin which must sustain repeated cycles of oxygenation and deoxygenation while remaining in its reduced, fully native, conformation. But, the ability of this content to carry out its task lies in the properties of the "container" – the RBC membrane.

The focus of this Research Topic is the continuous evolution and maturation of the RBC membrane from the erythroid precursors all the way to the senescent RBC. Much is known about the composition of the mature circulating RBC membrane, and also, from more recent investigations, on the maturation of the membrane during RBC production (erythropoiesis). Yet, the mechanisms by which these maturational events occur in the bone marrow and then, later, in the circulation are still not fully understood. For instance, the processes by which RBCs lose membrane surface area and reduce their size while remaining biconcave in shape throughout their circulatory life are not known. It is not clear to what extent they are deterministic or depend on the environment, involving other organs such as the endothelium, liver and spleen.

Many questions about the anatomy of the membrane-skeleton and its remodeling during RBC development and aging are still unanswered. The factors that determine clearance of senescent RBCs normal physiology or abnormal pathology are also still not completely understood. They certainly involve modifications at the level of the membrane. In addition, understanding of the RBC membrane structure and function is essential for producing RBCs in vitro for transfusion purposes. These "artificial" RBCs should have a perfectly functional biconcave disk shape that will enable them to survive and function in vivo like their naturally-developed counterparts.


Keywords: Erythropoiesis, red blood cell membrane, reticulocyte, membrane vesiculation, membranopathies


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Recent Articles

Loading..

About Frontiers Research Topics

With their unique mixes of varied contributions from Original Research to Review Articles, Research Topics unify the most influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in a hot research area! Find out more on how to host your own Frontiers Research Topic or contribute to one as an author.

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

18 February 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

Loading..

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

18 February 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

Loading..
Loading..

total views article views article downloads topic views

}
 
Top countries
Top referring sites
Loading..

Comments

Loading..

Add a comment

Add comment
Back to top
);