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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Biophysical characterization of the alpha-globin binding protein alpha-hemoglobin stabilizing protein.

Alpha-hemoglobin stabilizing protein (AHSP) is a small (12 kDa) and abundant erythroid-specific protein that binds specifically to free alpha-(hemo)globin and prevents its precipitation. When present in excess over beta-globin, its normal binding partner, alpha-globin can have severe cytotoxic effects that contribute to important human diseases such as beta-thalassemia. Because AHSP might act as a chaperone to prevent the harmful aggregation of alpha-globin during normal erythroid cell development and in diseases of globin chain imbalance, it is important to characterize the biochemical properties of the AHSP.alpha-globin complex. Here we provide the first structural information about AHSP and its interaction with alpha-globin. We find that AHSP is a predominantly alpha-helical globular protein with a somewhat asymmetric shape. AHSP and alpha-globin are both monomeric in solution as determined by analytical ultracentrifugation and bind each other to form a complex with 1:1 subunit stoichiometry, as judged by gel filtration and amino acid analysis. We have used isothermal titration calorimetry to show that the interaction is of moderate affinity with an association constant of 1 x 10(7) m(-1) and is thus likely to be biologically significant given the concentration of AHSP (approximately 0.1 mm) and hemoglobin (approximately 4 mm) in the late pro-erythroblast.[1]


  1. Biophysical characterization of the alpha-globin binding protein alpha-hemoglobin stabilizing protein. Gell, D., Kong, Y., Eaton, S.A., Weiss, M.J., Mackay, J.P. J. Biol. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
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