Spectrin is an actin crosslinking and molecular scaffold protein that links the plasma membrane to the actin cytoskeleton|and functions in the determination of cell shape|arrangement of transmembrane proteins|and organization of organelles. It is a tetramer made up of alpha-beta dimers linked in a head-to-head arrangement. This gene is one member of a family of alpha-spectrin genes. The encoded protein is primarily composed of 22 spectrin repeats which are involved in dimer formation. It forms weaker tetramer interactions than non-erythrocytic alpha spectrin|which may increase the plasma membrane elasticity and deformability of red blood cells. Mutations in this gene result in a variety of hereditary red blood cell disorders|including elliptocytosis type 2|pyropoikilocytosis|and spherocytic hemolytic anemia.