Gelation of sickle hemoglobin. III. Nitrosyl hemoglobin

Robin W. Briehl, J. M. Salhany

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Sickle cell nitrosyl hemoglobin was examined for gelation by an ultracentrifugal method previously described (Briehl & Ewert, 1973) and by birefringence. In the presence of inositol hexaphosphate gelation which exhibited the endothermic temperature dependence seen in gels of deoxyhemoglobin S was observed by both techniques. In the absence of inositol hexaphosphate no gelation was observed, nor did nitrosyl hemoglobin A exhibit gelation. On the assumption that gelation is dependent on the deoxy or T (low ligand affinity) as opposed to the oxy or R (high ligand affinity) quaternary structure this supports the conclusion that nitrosyl hemoglobin S in inositol hexaphosphate assumes the T structure, in contrast to the other liganded ferrohemoglobin derivatives oxy and carbon monoxide hemoglobin. Assuming further that the quaternary structures and isomerizations are the same in hemoglobins A and S it can also be concluded that nitrosyl hemoglobin A in inositol hexaphosphate assumes the T state. Since no gelation was seen in stripped nitrosyl hemoglobin S, inositol hexaphosphate serves to effect an R to T switch in this derivative. Thus R-T isomerization in nitrosyl hemoglobin occurs without change in ligand binding at the sixth position of the heme group confirming the conclusion of Salhany (1974) and Salhany et al. (1974). Lowering of the pH toward 6 favors gelation of NO hemoglobin S as it does of deoxy and aquomethemoglobin S (Briehl & Ewert, 1973,1974), consistent with a favoring of the T structure due to strengthening of the interchain salt bridges and the binding of inositol hexaphosphate and/or changes in site-to-site interactions on which gelation depends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-736,IN41-IN44,737-743
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 25 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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