We have examined the associations of purified red cell band 4.2 with red cell membrane and membrane skeletal proteins using in vitro binding assays. Band 4.2 bound to the purified cytoplasmic domain of band 3 with a Kd between 2 and 8 X 10(-7) M. Binding was saturable and slow, requiring 2-4 h to reach equilibrium. This finding confirms previous work suggesting that the principal membrane-binding site for band 4.2 lies within the 43-kDa cytoplasmic domain of band 3 (Korsgren, C., and Cohen, C. M. (1986) J. Biol. Chem. 261, 5536-5543). Band 4.2 also bound to purified ankyrin in solution with a Kd between 1 and 3.5 X 10(-7) M. As with the cytoplasmic domain of band 3, binding was saturable and required 4-5 h to reach equilibrium. Reconstitution with ankyrin of inside-out vesicles stripped of all peripheral proteins had no effect upon band 4.2 binding to membranes; similarly, reconstitution with band 4.2 had no effect upon ankyrin binding. This shows that ankyrin and band 4.2 bind to distinct loci within the 43-kDa band 3 cytoplasmic domain. Coincubation of ankyrin and band 4.2 in solution partially blocked the binding of both proteins to the membrane. Similarly, coincubation of bands 4.1 and 4.2 in solution partially blocked binding of both to membranes. In all cases, the data suggest the possibility that domains on each of these proteins responsible for low affinity membrane binding are principally affected. The data also provide evidence for an association of band 4.2 with band 4.1. Our results show that band 4.2 can form multiple associations with red cell membrane proteins and may therefore play an as yet unrecognized structural role on the membrane.
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