Protein 4.1 is a crucial component of the erythrocyte membrane skeleton. Responsible for the amplification of the spectrin-actin interaction, its presence is required for the maintenance of erythrocyte integrity. We have demonstrated a 4.1-like protein in nonerythroid cells. An antibody was raised to erythrocyte protein 4.1 purified by KCl extraction (Tyler, J. M., W. R. Hargreaves, and D. Branton, 1979, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 76:5192-5196), and used to identify a serologically cross-reactive protein in polymorphonuclear leukocytes, platelets, and lymphoid cells. The cross-reactive protein(s) were localized to various regions of the cells by immunofluorescence microscopy. Quantitative adsorption studies indicated that at least 30-60% of the anti-4.1 antibodies reacted with this protein, demonstrating significant homology between the erythroid and nonerythroid species. A homologous peptide doublet was observed on immunopeptide maps, although there was not complete identity between the two proteins. When compared with erythrocyte protein 4.1, the nonerythroid protein(s) displayed a lower molecular weight--68,000 as compared with 78,000-and did not bind spectrin or the nonerythroid actin-binding protein filamin. There was no detectable cross-reactivity between human acumentin or human tropomyosin-binding protein, which are similarly sized actin-associated proteins, and erythrocyte protein 4.1. The possible origin and significance of 4.1-related protein(s) in nonerythroid cells are discussed.

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