Involvement of His HC3 (146) beta in the Bohr effect of human hemoglobin. Studies of native and N-ethylmaleimide-treated hemoglobin A and hemoglobin Cowtown (beta 146 His replaced by Leu).
The involvement of the COOH-terminal histidines of the beta chains of human hemoglobin in the allosteric mechanism of oxygen binding has been the topic of intensive discussion. Data presented here on the functional properties of native and chemically modified forms of Hb Cowtown (beta 146 His replaced by Leu) suggest that approximately half of the alkaline Bohr effect is attributable to the imidazole of His HC3(146) beta. The contribution of this residue to the alkaline Bohr effect has been estimated variably as 40-60% and 15% or less. Equilibrium and kinetic studies show that the amino acid substitution in Hb Cowtown decreases the stability of the low affinity conformation, resulting in an increased oxygen affinity and altered sensitivity to anionic effectors. Detailed analysis of Hill plots of oxygen binding according to the Adair scheme reveals that, under conditions of moderate ionic strength (chloride = 0.1 M), the K2 and K3 values for Hb A and Hb Cowtown differ, whereas the K1 and K4 values are closely similar over the physiological pH range. The decreased pH sensitivity of Hb Cowtown is associated with a decreased pH sensitivity of K1, the first Adair constant. In contrast to des-His(146 beta) hemoglobin, the cooperative interactions shown by Hb Cowtown under conditions of moderate ionic strength are not reduced in comparison to those of Hb A. This and the similarity of K1 and K4 values for Hb A and Hb Cowtown indicate that under these conditions the salt bridge formed by the COOH-terminal imidazole group does not significantly contribute to the free energy difference between "T-state" and "R-state" hemoglobin. It appears that the salt bridge formed by the COOH-terminal carboxyl group stabilizes the deoxy, T-state, conformation to a greater degree than previously appreciated. Chemical modification of the Cys(93 beta) residue of Hb Cowtown with N-ethylmaleimide causes a decrease in its oxygen affinity, in contrast to the increase in affinity exhibited by N-ethylmaleimide-modified Hb A. Hemoglobins A and Cowtown have remarkably similar oxygen binding properties after this modification and are shown to have K1 and K4 values distinctly different from those of unmodified Hb A. The properties of native and chemically modified forms of Hb Cowtown are indicative of a large contribution of the His HC3 (146) beta residue to the alkaline Bohr effect and also illustrate how chemical modifications or changes of strategic amino acid residues can result in pronounced differences in the conformational equilibrium of an allosteric protein.
Shih, T; Jones, RT; Bonaventura, J; Bonaventura, C; Schneider, RG
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