Spot hemoglobin. Studies on the Root effect hemoglobin of a marine teleost.
The Spot, Leiostomus xanthrus, has a single tetrameric hemoglobin. Structural studies indicate the presence of alpha- and beta-like chains with COOH-terminal sequences of --Arg and --TYR-His, respectively, the same as is found in human hemoglobin. Spot hemoglobin possesses a Root effect: a heterotropic control mechanism like the Bohr effect but with more extreme pH dependence in the equilibria and kinetics of O2 and CO binding. The Root effect seems to be a molecular adaptation, in that pH- and anion-sensitive hemoglobins may help fish achieve neutral buoyancy by facilitating O2 delivery to the swim bladder. Changes in the kinetics of both "on" and "off" processes contribute to the greatly decreased ligand affinity of Spot hemoglobin at low pH. The time course ofligand combination at low pH is biphasic and wavelength dependent, suggesting a differential effect of pH on the alpha- and beta-like chains. The change in the shape of the ligand-binding curve with pH may be interpreted in terms of a proton-dependent transition between low (T) and high (R) affinity conformations. However, this may not be the only mechanism, since differential pH effects on the two types of chains may also contribute to the observed pH dependence.
Bonaventura, C; Sullivan, B; Bonaventura, J
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