The use of erythrocytic and animal models in the study of protein phosphorylation

Luciana Bordin, Micahel D. Coleman, Giulio Clari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phosphorylation processes are common post-transductional mechanisms, by which it is possible to modulate a number of metabolic pathways. Proteins are highly sensitive to phosphorylation, which governs many protein-protein interactions. The enzymatic activity of some protein tyrosine-kinases is under tyrosine-phosphorylation control, as well as several transmembrane anion-fluxes and cation exchanges. In addition, phosphorylation reactions are involved in intra and extra-cellular 'cross-talk' processes. Early studies adopted laboratory animals to study these little known phosphorylation processes. The main difficulty encountered with these animal techniques was obtaining sufficient kinase or phosphatase activity suitable for studying the enzymatic process. Large amounts of biological material from organs, such as the liver and spleen were necessary to conduct such work with protein kinases. Subsequent studies revealed the ubiquity and complexity of phosphorylation processes and techniques evolved from early rat studies to the adaptation of more rewarding in vitro models. These involved human erythrocytes, which are a convenient source both for the enzymes, we investigated and for their substrates. This preliminary work facilitated the development of more advanced phosphorylative models that are based on cell lines. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-152
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number2
Early online date15 Aug 2005
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006


  • human erythrocytes
  • nephrolithiasis
  • phosphorylation
  • rat liver mitochondria


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