PMID: 4799Apr 1, 1976

Thermodynamic studies of polymerization of deoxygenated sickle cell hemoglobin

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
B Magdoff-FairchildJ F Bertles

Abstract

Solubilities of deoxygenated sickle cell hemoglobin (deoxy-Hb S), at varying pH and temperature over a range of concentrations encompassing those found in erythrocytes, were measured. The technique involved ultracentrifugation, which gave values of the supernatant concentration and the mass of the sedimented material. The data establish that the solubility of doexy-Hb S is the saturation concentration and is independent of initial concentration. The mass of the pellet phase increases linearly with initial concentration. Moreover, the saturation concentration represents the critical concentration above which monomers are in equilibrium with polymers. These polymers are the putative cause of erythrocytes deformation associated with sickle cell anemia. The solubility-pH profiles of deoxy-Hb S at various temperatures, unlike those of other proteins, show no minima at the isoelectric pH but instead show a marked decrease in solubility below pH 7.0, indicating the predominance of polymerization over the expected increase in solubility. Deoxy-Hb S, within specified ranges of temperature and pH, possesses a negative temperature coefficient of solubility, a property characteristic of hydrophobic interactions. The saturation concentratio...Continue Reading

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