Letter | Published:

Hexokinase Activity as a Function of Age of the Human Erythrocyte



THE human erythrocyte normally survives in the circulation approximately 120 days. The factors which limit the cell's survival are unknown. An important factor may be an age-related diminution in the activity of one or more enzymes vital to the cell1. A decrease in the activity of a key glycolytic enzyme, or enzymes, might be of particular importance because the mature human red cell derives virtually all its energy through glycolysis. Certain inherited enzymatic defects, both in the anaerobic glycolytic and in the pentose phosphate pathways of the human red cell, are associated with shortening of the lifespan of the cell2–5.


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