Intact human erythrocytes incubated at 37 degrees C, pH7.4, release a sialoglycopeptide similar in its chemical composition, immunological and aggregation properties to the glycopeptide released by isolated ‘ghost’ membranes. The presence of ATP or reduced glutathione at physiological concentrations in the incubation medium of ‘ghost’ membranes inhibits this self-digestion process.

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