The substitution of iron for cobalt in the monomeric insect hemoglobin CTT (Chironomus thummi thummi) III does not alter the Bohr effect for O2-binding. The cobalt substitution in this hemoglobin allows us to identify not only the O-O and Co-O2 stretching mode but also the Co-O-O bending mode by resonance Raman spectroscopy. The assignments were made via 16O2/18O2 isotope exchange. The modes associated with the Co-O-O moiety are pH-dependent. These pH-induced changes of the resonance Raman spectra are correlated with the t = r conformation transition. At high pH (high-affinity state) two unperturbed O-O stretching modes are observed at 1,068 cm-1 (major component) and 1,093 cm-1 (minor component) for the 18O2 complex. These frequencies correspond to split modes at 1,107 cm-1 and 1,136 cm-1 and an unperturbed mode at approximately 1,153 cm-1 for the 16O2 complex. At low pH (low-affinity state) the minor component becomes the major component and vice versa. The Co-O2 stretching frequency varies for approximately 520 cm-1 (pH 5.5) to 537 cm-1 (pH 9.5) indicating a stronger (hence shorter) Co-O2 bond in the high-affinity state. On the other hand, the O-O bond is weakened upon the conversion of the low- to the high-affinity state. The Co-O-O bending mode changes from 390 cm-1 (pH 9.5) to 374 cm-1 (pH 5.5). In the deoxy form the resonance Raman spectra are essentially pH-insensitive except for a vinyl mode at 414 cm-1 (pH 5.5), which is shifted to 416 cm-1 (pH 5.5)
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