8.A.21 The Stomatin/Podocin/Band 7/Nephrosis.2/SPFH (Stomatin) Family

Stomatin is one of the major integral membrane proteins of the human erythrocyte (Band 7.2b), and its absence is associated with the hemolytic anemia condition known as hereditary stomatocytosis (hydrocytosis). Stomatin is thought to function as a negative regulator of univalent cation permeability. Its homologues are found in almost all species of eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea. In many prokaryotes the stomatin-encoding genes are in bicistronic operons that also encode integral membrane proteases with one N-terminal TMS, an N-terminal ClpP-type serine endoprotease domain, and a C-terminal 6 TMS hydrophobic domain. The proteases cleave the C-terminal hydrophobic regions in the stomatin homologue (Yokoyama and Matsui, 2005). The cleavage of the stomatin homologue by the protease may cause an ion channel to open. The erythrocyte stomatin may have 3 TMSs, one very hydrophobic TMS (residues 27-51), and two moderately hydrophobic TMSs (residues 78-94 and 265-282) in this 288 aa protein. The Mec2 protein of C. elegans is a subunit in the touch responsive mechanosensitive degenerin channel complex in the ENaC family (TC #1.A.6.2.2).

Human erythrocytes express the highest level of the Glut1 glucose transporter (TC# 2.A.1.1.28). Glucose transport decreases during human erythropoiesis despite a >3-log increase in Glut1 transcripts. Glut1-mediated transport of L-dehydroascorbic acid (DHA), an oxidized form of ascorbic acid (AA), is dramatically enhanced. Stomatin, regulates the switch from glucose to DHA transport (Montel-Hagen et al., 2008). Erythrocyte Glut1 and associated DHA uptake are unique traits of humans and the few other mammals that have lost the ability to synthesize AA from glucose. Mice, a species capable of synthesizing AA, express Glut4 but not Glut1 in mature erythrocytes. Thus, erythrocyte-specific coexpression of Glut1 with stomatin constitutes a compensatory mechanism in mammals that are unable to synthesize vitamin C.

Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is manifested by hyperproteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, and edema. The NPHS2 gene that encodes podocin has the most mutations among the genes that are involved in the pathophysiology of NS. Podocin is expressed exclusively in podocytes and is localized to the slit-diaphragm (SD). Mutations in podocin are associated with steroid-resistant NS and rapid progression to end-stage renal disease, thus signifying its role in maintaining SD integrity. Mulukala et al. 2016 deduced a model for human podocin, discussed the details of transmembrane localization and intrinsically unstrucMembrane fusions that occur during vesicle transport, virus infection, and tissue development, involve receptors that mediate membrane contact and initiate fusion and effectors that execute membrane reorganization and fusion pore formation. Some of these ftured regions, and provided an understanding of how podocin interacts with other SD components. 

Some fusogenic receptors/effectors are preferentially recruited to lipid raft membrane microdomains, and stomatin is a major constituents of lipid rafts (Lee et al. 2016).  Cells expressing more stomatin or exposed to exogenous stomatin are more prone to undergoing cell fusion. During osteoclastogenesis, depletion of stomatin inhibits cell fusion, and in stomatin transgenic mice, increased cell fusion leading to enhanced bone resorption and subsequent osteoporosis were observed. With its unique molecular topology, stomatin forms molecular assembly within lipid rafts or on the appositional plasma membranes, and promotes membrane fusion by modulating fusogenic protein engagement (Lee et al. 2016).

This family belongs to the .



Lapatsina, L., J.A. Jira, E.S. Smith, K. Poole, A. Kozlenkov, D. Bilbao, G.R. Lewin, and P.A. Heppenstall. (2012). Regulation of ASIC channels by a stomatin/STOML3 complex located in a mobile vesicle pool in sensory neurons. Open Biol 2: 120096.

Lee, J.H., C.F. Hsieh, H.W. Liu, C.Y. Chen, S.C. Wu, T.W. Chen, C.S. Hsu, Y.H. Liao, C.Y. Yang, J.F. Shyu, W.B. Fischer, and C.H. Lin. (2016). Lipid raft-associated stomatin enhances cell fusion. FASEB J. [Epub: Ahead of Print]

Montel-Hagen, A., S. Kinet, N. Manel, C. Mongellaz, R. Prohaska, J.L. Battini, J. Delaunay, M. Sitbon, and N. Taylor. (2008). Erythrocyte Glut1 triggers dehydroascorbic acid uptake in mammals unable to synthesize vitamin C. Cell 132: 1039-1048.

Mulukala, S.K., R. Nishad, L.P. Kolligundla, M.A. Saleem, N.P. Prabhu, and A.K. Pasupulati. (2016). In silico Structural characterization of podocin and assessment of nephrotic syndrome-associated podocin mutants. IUBMB Life. [Epub: Ahead of Print]

Yokoyama, H. and I. Matsui. (2005). A novel thermostable membrane protease forming an operon with a stomatin homolog from the hyperthermophilic archaebacterium Pyrococcus horikoshii. J. Biol. Chem. 280: 6588-6594.


TC#NameOrganismal TypeExample

Erythrocyte stomatin (Band 7) (Similar to Mechanosensory protein Mec2 (1.A.6.2.2))


Stomatin of Homo sapiens (P27105)


Podocin of 383 aas and 1 TMS.  Expressed exclusively in the slit-diaphragm of podocytes.  Mutations lead to steroid resistance followed by renal disease (Mulukala et al. 2016).

Podocin of Homo sapiens


Stomatin-like protein 3, STROML3 of 291 aas and 2 TMSs.  Functions in the regulation of ASIC channels in mobile vesicles in sensory neurons (Lapatsina et al. 2012).

STROML3 of Homo sapiens


TC#NameOrganismal TypeExample

Stomatin homologue. Cleavage of this protein by a protease encoded within the same operon as the stomatin has been reported to open an ion channel (Yokoyama and Matsui, 2005).


Stomatin homologue and its protease of Pyrococcus horikoshii
Stomatin homologue (O59180)
Protease (NP_143370)


QmcA protein (bacterial homologue) of 305 aas and 1 TMS (N-terminal).  May play a role in the quality control of integral membrane proteins. There is no evidence that it plays a role in transport.

QmcA of E. coli


Prohibitin, Wph, of 273 aas.

Prohibitn of Triticum aestivum (Wheat)


Signal peptide peptidase of 325 aas and 4 or 5 TMSs

Peptidase of Bdellovibrio exovorus


Modulator of FtsH protease, HflK, of 266 aas and 1 strong N-terminal TMS as well as as many as 3 or 4 additional less hydrophobic peaks that could be TMSs. It shows strong similarity to recognized stomatin proteins and  may function with an uncharacterized protein of 231 aas and 6 TMSs in a 2 + 2 + 2 TMS arrangement encoded by the gene adjacent to the hflK gene. This latter uncharacterized protein exhibits weak similarity to the second half of the NfeD protease (TC# 8.A.21.2.1). The protease domain of NfeD is in the first half.

HflK/ORF of Candidatus Thorarchaeota archaeon AB_25