Cell Membranes Problem Set
Problem 2: Lipids and aqueous barriers
While on a trip to the desert, a friend of yours was bitten by a rattlesnake. He nearly died from hemolysis, or breakage of many of his red blood cells. You have analyzed the snake venom and found three enzymes: phospholipase, which degrades phospholipids; neuraminidase, which removes cell surface carbohydrates; and protease which degrades proteins. Which of these enzymes do you think was responsible for his near fatal red blood cell hemolysis? Why?
The Biology Project
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
University of Arizona
Revised: August 2004
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