Healthy red blood cells owe their shape to muscle-like structures | oneSCDvoice
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Healthy red blood cells owe their shape to muscle-like structures


Red blood cells are on a wild ride. As they race through the body to deliver oxygen, they must maintain a distinct dimpled shape—and bounce back into form even after squishing through narrow capillaries. Red blood cells that can’t keep their shape are associated with diseases like sickle cell anemia.

In a new study, Velia Fowler, PhD, and her lab at The Scripps Research Institute report that a protein called myosin IIA contracts to give red blood cells their distinctive shape. The findings, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could shed light on sickle cell diseases and other disorders where red blood cells are deformed.

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