Flashcards in Haemoglobin structure and function Deck (25)
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what is haemoglobin and what are haemoproteins?

β†’Haemoglobin is a globular haemoprotein, making up about 1/3 of the RBC

β†’haemoproteins are a group of specialised proteins that contain haem as a tightly bound prosthetic group.


what is the structure of haemoglobin?

β†’It consists of 2 Ξ± and 2 Ξ² chains, each holding its own haem molecule.

β†’Haem is a complex of protoporphyrin IX and ferrous iron (Fe2+).

β†’ Iron is held in the centre of the haem molecule by bonds to the four nitrogens of the porphyrin ring.


at what stages is the haemoglobin synthesized?

β†’65% of the haemoglobin in RBCs is synthesised at the erythroblast stage, and 35% at the reticulocyte stage.


how is haemoglobin synthesis regulated?

β†’ stimulated by tissue hypoxia (when it isn't getting an adequate supply of oxygen).

β†’The hypoxia causes the kidneys to increase the production of Erythropoietin (EPO), which increases RBC and Hb production.


where does haem synthesis occur?

β†’haem synthesis occurs largely in the mitochondria.


Describe the chain of events that leads to haem production.

β†’Iron is delivered to the reticulocyte by transferrin.

β†’This occurs in the mitochondria of RBC precursors.
β†’It is mediated by EPO and Vit B6.
β†’This is done to create Protoporphyrin IX.

β†’Protoporphyrin IX and iron combine to make a haem molecule.
β†’The haem can combine with globin to form haemoglobin.


where does globin synthesis happen?

Globin synthesis occurs in the polyribosomes.


how does haemoglobin synthesis happen?

β†’globin mRNA is transcribed from the genes then translated into globin by the polyribosomes.

β†’The proper globin synthesis depends on genes, because the precise order of amino acids in the globin chains is critical to the structure and function of haemoglobin.

β†’the rates of haem and globin synthesis are carefully coordinated to ensure optimal efficiency of haemoglobin assembly


how are the globin chains arranged? ( describe the clusters)

β†’There are eight functional globin chains, arranged in two clusters:

β†’B-CLUSTER (Ξ², Ξ³, Ξ΄ and Ξ΅ globin genes) on the short arm of chromosome 11

β†’A-CLUSTER (Ξ± and ΞΆ globin genes) on the short arm of chromosome 16


what are the functional haemoglobins at different times of human growth?

β†’Gower I (ΞΆ2 Ξ΅2)
β†’Gower II (Ξ±2 Ξ΅2)
β†’ Portland (ΞΆ2 Ξ³2)

β†’ HbF (Ξ±2 Ξ³2)
β†’ HbA (Ξ±2 Ξ²2)

β†’ HbA2 (Ξ±2 Ξ΄2)
β†’ HbF


what makes up adult haemoglobin (including their percentages)?

β†’It is made up of HbA, HbA2 and HbF.
β†’96-98% of the haemoglobin is HbA,
β†’HbA2 at 1.5-3.2%
β†’HbF at 0.5-0.8%.


what could happen to the synthesis of globin chains if mutations occur?

Mutations or deletions may lead to:
β†’abnormal synthesis of globin chains (eg. Sickle Cell Disease)
β†’reduced rate of synthesis of normal Ξ± or Ξ²-globin chains (eg. Thalassaemias)


what are the functions of haemoglobin?

β†’ to carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues
β†’ to remove CO2
β†’buffering action (maintains blood pH as it changes from oxyhaemoglobin to deoxyhaemoglobin)


describe the oxygen delivery to the tissues

β†’One Hb molecule can bind to four O2 molecules

β†’When oxygenated, 2.3-DPG is pushed out; the Ξ²-chains move closer

β†’Ξ²-chains are pulled apart when O2 is unloaded

β†’permitting entry of 2,3-DPG resulting in lower affinity of O2.


what does O2 binding to haemoglobin depends on?

β†’ PO2
β†’ affinity of haemoglobin for O2 Oxygen affinity is the ease with which haemoglobin binds and releases oxygen.


what is oxygen affinity? and what does increased and decreased oxygen affinity mean?

β†’It determines the proportion of O2 released to the tissues or loaded onto the cell at a given oxygen pressure.

β†’Increases in oxygen affinity mean that haemoglobin has an increased affinity for O2, so it can bind more and stronger.

β†’Decreases in oxygen affinity causes O2 to be released.


what is the oxygen dissociation curve and what is it determined by and what is P50?

β†’The oxyhaemoglobin dissociation curve relates oxygen saturation (SO2) and partial pressure of oxygen in the blood (PO2)

β†’it is determined by the "haemoglobin affinity for oxygen"

β†’The P50 is the oxygen tension at which haemoglobin is 50% saturated.


what is haemoglobin affinity for oxygen?

β†’ how readily haemoglobin acquires and releases oxygen molecules into the fluid that surrounds it.


what is the Bohr effect?

β†’ haemoglobin's oxygen binding affinity is inversely related both to acidity and to the concentration of carbon dioxide.

β†’in acidic pH, the curve shifts to the right; this results in an enhanced capacity to release O2 where it is needed.


describe what happens during the right shift of an oxygen dissociation curve

β†’increased P50
β†’ decreased affinity to O2
β†’ Hb more willing to release O2 to tissue


what are examples of situations where the oxygen curve is right shifted?

acidosis and anaemia (even though we may have a lowered number of RBCs, they act more efficiently to deliver O2 to the target).


describe what happens during the left shift of an oxygen dissociation curve

β†’decreased P50
β†’ increased affinity to O2 -
β†’Hb less willing to release O2 to tissue


what are examples of situations where the oxygen curve is left shifted?

alkalosis and the presence of abnormal haemoglobins.


what does the normal position of the curve depend on?

β†’the concentration of 2,3-DPG - H+ ion concentration (pH)
β†’ CO2 in RBCs
β†’ the structure of haemoglobin
β†’The standard conditions are: - TEMP: 37ΒΊC - pH: 7.4 - BASE EXCESS (BE): 0


what are the three mechanisms for carbon dioxide transport?

β†’dissolution in plasma
β†’ formation of carbonic acid
β†’ binding to carbaminohaemoglobin