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Oxygen-binding haem proteins

Wilson, MT and Reeder, BJ (2008) 'Oxygen-binding haem proteins.' Experimental Physiology, 93 (1). 128 - 132. ISSN 0958-0670

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Abstract

Myoglobin and haemoglobin, the respiratory pigments of mammals and some molluscs, annelids and arthropods, belong to an ancient superfamily of haem-associated globin proteins. Members of this family share common structural and spectral features. They also share some general functional characteristics, such as the ability to bind ligands, e.g. O2, CO and NO, at the iron atom and to undergo redox changes. These properties are used in vivo to perform a wide range of biochemical and physiological roles. While it is acknowledged that the major role of haemoglobin is to bind oxygen reversibly and deliver it to the tissues, this is not its only function, while the often-stated role of myoglobin as an oxygen storage protein is possibly a misconception. Furthermore, haemoglobin and myoglobin express enzymic activities that are important to their function, e.g. NO dioxygenase activity or peroxidatic activity that may be partly responsible for pathophysiology following haemorrhage. Evidence for these functions is described, and the discussion extended to include proteins that have recently been discovered and that are expressed at low levels within the cell. These proteins are hexaco-ordinate, unlike haemoglobin and myoglobin, and are widely distributed throughout the animal kingdom (e.g. neuroglobins and cytoglobins). They may have specialist roles in oxygen delivery to particular sites within the cell but may also perform roles associated with O2 sensing and signalling and in responses to stress, e.g. protection from reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. Haemoglobins are also widespread in plants and bacteria and may serve similar protective functions. © 2007 The Authors.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2011 11:54
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2019 10:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1006

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