Thermodynamics of oxygen binding to arctic hemoglobins. The case of reindeer


The most surprising characteristic of reindeer hemoglobin (Hb) concerns its response to changes in temperature. Thus, the shape of the oxygen-binding curve is strongly temperature dependent due to the difference in the enthalpy of oxygenation between the T and R state of the molecule. In fact, delta H of oxygen binding to the T state is strongly exothermic whereas that of the R state is very close to zero or possibly positive after correction for the heat of oxygen solubilization. Moreover, the allosteric transition T0----R0 has been found to display a negative delta H and a contemporaneous decrease in entropy, a behavior which is precisely the opposite of what has been reported for other hemoglobins. As a whole, reindeer Hb represents a beautiful example of the significance that comparative studies may have in assessing the general validity of the main properties of the hemoglobin molecule

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This paper was published in ART.

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