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

Transfer of human alpha- to beta-hemoglobin via its chaperone protein: evidence for a new state.

The alpha-hemoglobin-stabilizing protein (AHSP), a small protein of 102 amino acids, is synthesized in red blood cell precursors. It binds specifically to alpha-hemoglobin (alpha-Hb) subunits acting as a chaperone protein, preventing the formation of alpha-hemoglobin-cytotoxic precipitates. We have engineered recombinant AHSP in a pGEX vector to study the functional consequence of interaction between AHSP and alpha-Hb. By in vitro binding assays, we have isolated the complexes glutathione S-transferase-AHSP.alpha-Hb and AHSP.alpha-Hb. The latter assembles as a heterodimer based on size-exclusion chromatography. These complexes exhibited monophasic CO binding kinetics, as observed for isolated alpha- and beta-subunits of hemoglobin. However, the rate of CO (or oxygen) binding to alpha-hemoglobin bound to its chaperone is three times slower than that observed for isolated alpha-hemoglobin, demonstrating a form that is intermediate to the R- and T-hemoglobin states. The physiologically relevant replacement of the chaperone by beta-hemoglobin chains could be detected by both ligand binding kinetics and tryptophan fluorescence quenching.[1]


  1. Transfer of human alpha- to beta-hemoglobin via its chaperone protein: evidence for a new state. Baudin-Creuza, V., Vasseur-Godbillon, C., Pato, C., Préhu, C., Wajcman, H., Marden, M.C. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
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