Radiation damage and recovery of sulfhydryl groups of erythrocyte membranes have been studied by irradiating suspensions of human erythrocytes or isolated ghosts with X-rays and measuring the remaining membrane sulfhydryl groups with 5′5-dithiobis-(2-nitrobenzoic acid). Decomposition of the nonexponential dose-response curves indicated that the membrane sulfhydryl groups consist of two classes with widely different radiosensitivity, the most radiosensitive fraction constituting about 10% of the total number of -SH groups. Factors expected to influence the structure of the membrane altered the percentage of radiosensitive -SH groups. The loss of -SH groups was greater when isolated ghosts were irradiated than when intact cells were exposed. Disulfide formation, as revealed by sodium borohyride reduction, accounted for the major part of the -SH lost on irradiation. In erythrocytes incubated for 1 hour at 37°C in the presence of glucose after exposure, about 60% of the -SH lost on irradiation reappeared. No recovery of -SH groups occurred either at low temperature, in the absence of glucose, or in isolated ghosts. Direct measurements of the membrane disulfide content indicated that the reappearance of -SH groups after exposure was due to reduction of radiation-induced disulfides. The data presented demonstrate that human erythrocytes possess a mechanism permitting them to reduce membrane disulfides under conditions of active metabolism. This mechanism may explain the repair of permeability observed under similar conditions by previous authors.
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Research Article| May 01 1968
Repair of Radiation Damage to Erythrocyte Membranes: The Reduction of Radiation-Induced Disulfide Groups
Radiat Res (1968) 34 (2): 300–314.
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Robert M. Sutherland, Alexander Pihl; Repair of Radiation Damage to Erythrocyte Membranes: The Reduction of Radiation-Induced Disulfide Groups. Radiat Res 1 May 1968; 34 (2): 300–314. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/3572555
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