Insulin degradation in human erythrocyte: effects of cations

Acta Diabetol Lat. Jan-Mar 1985;22(1):63-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02591094.


Insulin degradation by human erythrocyte fractions was studied using the TCA-precipitation method. Hemolysate exhibited an insulin degrading activity higher than membranes. Triton X-100 treatment of membranes led to the appraisal of Triton-soluble degrading activity and of a more efficient Triton-not-soluble degrading activity. Monovalent cations (Na+, K+, Li+) did not modify the insulin degradation by any of the erythrocyte fractions. Divalent cations, Ca++ and Zn++ selectively enhanced insulin degradation by the membranous fractions, and Cu++ and Zn++ strongly inhibited insulin degradation by all the erythrocyte fractions. The results supported the hypothesis of the existence of at least two different degrading systems in human erythrocytes: soluble (cytosolic) Ca++ and Mg++ insensitive system(s) and membrane associated Ca++ and Mg++ sensitive system(s).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / metabolism
  • Erythrocytes / drug effects*
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Male
  • Metals / pharmacology*


  • Insulin
  • Metals