Erythrocyte membrane proteins from 44 representative mammals were studied. Protein 4.2 was not detected in guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) (N = 14), Southern Brazilian swamp large rats (Myocastor coypus) (N = 2), cutias (Dasyprocta sp) (N = 4), and horses (Equus caballus) (N = 13). These animals also presented high ankyrin concentrations except for the horse which did not exhibit a sharp band, although minor components located between proteins 2 and 3 could account for the ankyrin family. The rodents studied did present band 6, which was not detectable in other common rodents such as white rats (Rattus norvegicus) (N = 9) and mice (Mus musculus) (N = 12). Since the absence of protein 4.2 does not disrupt the cytoskeleton membrane, we suggest that it is not an essential protein. Its absence may be compensated physiologically by the higher ankyrin concentration observed
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