Oxygenation properties and underlying molecular mechanisms of hemoglobins in plateau zokor (Eospalax baileyi )

American Journal of Physiology. Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Peng PuQiang Chen


The plateau zokor (Eospalax baileyi) is a species of subterranean rodent endemic to the Tibetan Plateau. It is well adapted to the cold and hypoxic and hypercapnic burrow. To study the oxygenation properties of plateau zokor hemoglobins (Hbs), we measured intrinsic Hb-O2 affinities and their sensitivities to pH (Bohr effect); CO2; Cl-, 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (DPG); and temperature using purified Hbs from zokor and mouse. The optimal deoxyHb model of plateau zokor was constructed and used to study its structural characteristics by molecular dynamics simulations. O2 binding results revealed that plateau zokor Hbs exhibit remarkably high intrinsic Hb-O2 affinity, low CO2 effects compared with human and the relatively low anion allosteric effector sensitivities (DPG and Cl-) at normal temperature, which would safeguard the pulmonary Hb-O2 loading under hypoxic and hypercapnic conditions. Furthermore, the high anion allosteric effector sensitivities at low temperature and low temperature sensitivities of plateau zokor Hbs would facilitate the releasing of O2 in cold extremities and metabolic tissues. However, the high Hb-O2 affinity of plateau zokor is not compensated by high pH sensitivity as the Bohr factors of plateau zokor Hbs w...Continue Reading


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