The proteome of erythrocyte-derived microparticles from plasma: New clues for erythrocyte aging and vesiculation

Giel J.C.G.M. Bosman*, Edwin Lasonder, Yvonne A.M. Groenen-Döpp, Frans L.A. Willekens, Jan M. Werre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


Vesicle formation is an integral part of the physiological erythrocyte aging process. Recent biophysical and immunochemical data have suggested that vesicles originate by the extrusion of membrane patches that, during aging, have become damaged and simultaneously enriched in removal signals. Thereby, vesiculation may serve to postpone the untimely removal of functional cells. As a first step toward the identification of the underlying mechanisms, we isolated erythrocyte-derived vesicles from plasma by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, analyzed their proteome by mass spectrometry, and compared this with the membrane proteomes of erythrocytes that were separated according to cell age. The presence of band 3 and actin in the vesicles together with the absence of almost all other integral membrane and cytoskeletal proteins, and the specific, aging-associated alterations in band 3 aggregation and degradation shown by proteomics as well as immunochemistry, all suggest that the erythrocyte aging process harbors a specific, band 3-centered mechanism for vesicle generation. The age-related recruitment of plasma proteins, proteins of the ubiquitin-proteasome system, and small G proteins to the erythrocyte membrane supports the hypothesis that modification of band 3 and/or degradation initiate vesiculation, and the subsequent recognition and fast removal of vesicles by the immune system. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Integrated omics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-210
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Proteomics
Early online date2 Jun 2012
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


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