PMID: 37684Jan 1, 1979

Bilirubin acidity. Titrimetric and 13C NMR studies

Acta Chemica Scandinavica. Series B: Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
P E HansenR Brodersen


Acidimetric titration of bilirubin IX-alpha, dissolved in excess aqueous sodium hydroxide, showed that two protons are dissociated with pK values well below 7 and that one or several additional acidic groups titrate with pK around 12.9. Precipitation of the nearly insoluble acid precluded determination of the two lower pK values by titration in aqueous solution. In dimethyl sulfoxide solution, four acidic protons were demonstrated, titrating two by two without precipitation. 13C NMR spectra of bilirubin IX-alpha were recorded and complete assignments were made by comparison with the spectra of bilirubin XIII-alpha and mesobilirubin etc. Such spectra, recorded after addition of 2 and 4 mol of base per mol of bilirubin IX-alpha, showed that both carboxyl groups are titrated by the first 2 mol of base, and both lactams by the following 2 mol of base. Cotitrations of bilirubin IX-alpha with other acids, o- and m-hydroxybenzoic acid and 2-pyridone, were used to determine relative pK values in dimethyl sulfoxide solution, and pK values for the four acidic protons of bilirubin IX-alpha in aqueous solution were calculated from the Born equation. Both carboxyl groups exhibited pK = 4.4, and both lactams pK = 13.0, in good agreement with...Continue Reading


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