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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1978 Jan 25;532(1):57-64.

Interaction of rabbit hemopexin with bilirubin.


The interaction of hemopexin with bilirubin was characterized by spectrophotometric, fluorimetric and circular dichroic techniques. Hemopexin rapidly forms an equimolar complex with libirubin that has an apparent dissociation constant Kd, of 7.5.10(-7) M. The association alters the absorption band of bilirubin near 150 nm, quenches the fluorescence of tryptophan residues of hemopexin, enhances the fluorescence of bilirubin, and induces strong ellipticity extrema in bilirubin of --60 . 10(3) deg . cm2 . dmol-1 at 465 nm and +70 . 10(3) deg . cm2 . dmol-1 at 415 nm. However, the conformation-sensitive ellipticity aband at 231 nm of hemopexin is not altered. In displacement experiments using circular dichroism, heme readily replaced bound bilirubin, indicating that bilirubin and heme are bound at the same site on hemopexin. Even at molar ratios of hemopexin to albumin of 3 to 1, human serum albumin removes bilirubin from hemopexin. Hemopexin is thus unlikely to have a role in the transport of bilirubin in serum.

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