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Revista Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia
versão On-line ISSN 1806-0870
BONIFACIO, Silvia L. e NOVARETTI, Marcia C. Z.. Biological functions of blood group antigens. Rev. Bras. Hematol. Hemoter. [online]. 2009, vol.31, n.2, pp.104-111. Epub 17-Abr-2009. ISSN 1806-0870. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-84842009005000015.
Erythrocyte blood group antigens are macromolecules structures located on the extracellular surface of the red blood cell membrane. The development of molecular studies allowed the recognition of more than 250 antigens by the International Society for Blood Transfusion (ISBT). These studies have also shown that blood group antigens are carried on red blood cell membrane of wide structural diversity, including carbohydrate epitopes on glycoproteins and/or glycolipids and on proteins inserted within the membrane via single or multi-pass transmembrane domains, or via glycosylphosphatidylinositol linkages. In addition, to their structural diversity, many important functions associated with blood group antigens have been recently identified and can be didactically divided into: structural proteins, transporters, receptors and adhesion molecules, enzymes, complement control proteins and others. This review will focus on the potential functions of the molecules that express blood group antigens.
Palavras-chave : Blood group antigens; biological functions; erythrocyte membrane; blood group systems.