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J Inorg Biochem. 2000 Nov;82(1-4):93-101.

Changes of tyrosine and tryptophan residues in human hemoglobin by oxygen binding: near- and far-UV circular dichroism of isolated chains and recombined hemoglobin.

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  • 1School of Health Sciences, Kanazawa University Faculty of Medicine, Japan.


In order to assign the circular dichroism (CD) spectral change in the region between 280 and 300 nm of human adult hemoglobin (Hb A) upon the quaternary structure transition induced by oxygen binding, the near- and far-UV CD spectra of the isolated chains and the recombined hemoglobin were examined. Deoxygenation made the negative CD band at 290 nm of oxy-alpha chain deeper. On the other hand, positive CD bands of oxy-beta chain at the 280 to approximately 300 nm became negative upon deoxygenation. These changes were interpreted as being due to environmental alterations of tyrosine (Tyr) and/or tryptophan (Trp) perturbed by tertiary structural changes from the oxy to deoxy form in isolated chains, referring to the CD spectra of model compounds. From the difference between CD bands of the arithmetic mean of deoxy isolated chains and the CD band of deoxyHb tetramer, the contribution of tertiary structural change to the negative CD band of deoxyHb A at 287 nm was estimated to be 50%. This finding has revealed that the net contribution of quaternary structure transition to the negative band is 50%. In far-UV CD spectra, the environmental changes of aromatic residues upon the quaternary structure transition were also detected as a negative band at 225 nm.

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