Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 56, Issue 12, pp 1076–1085 | Cite as

Spectrin: Structure, function and disease

  • Rui Zhang
  • ChenYu Zhang
  • Qi Zhao
  • DongHai LiEmail author
Open Access


Spectrin is a large, cytoskeletal, and heterodimeric protein composed of modular structure of α and β subunits, it typically contains 106 contiguous amino acid sequence motifs called “spectrin repeats”. Spectrin is crucial for maintaining the stability and structure of the cell membrane and the shape of a cell. Moreover, it contributes to diverse cell functions such as cell adhesion, cell spreading, and the cell cycle. Mutations of spectrin lead to various human diseases such as hereditary hemolytic anemia, type 5 spinocerebellar ataxia, cancer, as well as others. This review focuses on recent advances in determining the structure and function of spectrin as well as its role in disease.


erythrocyte spectrin cell cycle mass spectrometry disease 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Engineering Research Center for microRNA Biology and Biotechnology, State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced TechnologyChinese Academy of SciencesShenzhenChina

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