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Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2010 Jan;155(1):41-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2009.09.010. Epub 2009 Sep 19.

Structural characterization of hemoglobins from Monilifera and Frenulata tubeworms (Siboglinids): first discovery of giant hexagonal-bilayer hemoglobin in the former "Pogonophora" group.

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UPMC Université Paris VI, UMR 7144, Equipe Ecophysiologie des Invertébrés Marins des Milieux Extrêmes, Station Biologique de Roscoff, Place Georges Teissier, B.P 74. F-29682 Roscoff-cedex, France.


Siboglinids are symbiotic polychete annelids having hemoglobins as essential oxygen- and sulfide-carriers for their endosymbiotic bacteria. We analyzed the structure of the hemoglobins from two species of siboglinids: the monilifera Sclerolinum contortum and the frenulata Oligobrachia webbi (i.e. haakonmosbiensis) from Norwegian cold seeps. Measured by Multi-Angle Laser Light Scattering (MALLS), Sclerolinum shows a 3190+/-50 kDa hexagonal bilayer hemoglobin (HBL-Hb) and a 461+/-46 kDa ring-Hb, just as vestimentifera, whereas Oligobrachia has a 409+/-3.7 kDa ring-Hb only. Electrospray Ionization-Mass Spectrometry (ESI-MS) showed Sclerolinum HBL-Hb composed of seven monomeric globins (15-16 kDa), three disulfide-bonded globin heterodimers and three linkers. The heterodimers always contain globin-b (15814.4+/-1.5 Da). Sclerolinum ring-Hb is composed of globins and dimers with identical masses as its HBL-Hb, but lacks linkers. Oligobrachia ring-Hb has three globin monomers (14-15 kDa) only, with no disulfide-bonded dimers. Comparison of Sclerolinum hemoglobins between Storegga and Haakon Mosby Mud Volcano, using the normalized height of deconvoluted ESI-MS peaks, shows differences in globin monomers abundances that could reflect genetic differences or differential gene expression between distinct seep populations. The discovery of HBL-Hb in Sclerolinum is a new element supporting the hypothesis of monilifera being phylogenetically more closely related to vestimentifera, than to frenulata.

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