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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1976 Sep 24;444(2):435-45.

Transfer of heme from heme-albumin to hemopexin.

Abstract

Exchange of heme in vitro between two heme-binding serum proteins, albumin and hemopexin, was examined spectrophotometrically. Hemopexin, albumin and heme in molar ratios of 1 : 70 : 1 were incubated at 22 degrees C, pH 7.3. The heme was added as free heme, heme-hemopexin or methemalbumin. Due to the high affinity of hemopexin for heme, Kd near 10(-13) M, only negligible amounts of heme were transferred from hemopexin to albumin in 48 h. However, more than 80% of heme was transferred from methemalbumin to hemopexin within 24 h. Heme added to a 1 : 70 mixture of the apo-proteins is initially bound by albumin; but more than 90% is bound by hemopexin in 24 h. Addition of dithionite causes nearly all of the heme present, whether added as free heme or methemalbumin, to associate with hemopexin in 15 min. Albumin thus appears to have a much lower affinity for ferro- than for ferri-heme. Results obtained from similar experiments with human serum and human serum made hemopexin-free by immunoadsorption fully corroborate those obtained with mixtures of purified albumin and hemopexin. These observations suggest that the rate-limiting step in the heme transport function of hemopexin is the formation of the heme-hemopexin complex, rather than the uptake of the complex by the liver.

PMID:
971416
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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