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Type: Journal article
Title: A biochemical-biophysical study of hemoglobins from woolly mammoth, asian elephant, and humans
Author: Yuan, Y.
Shen, T.
Gupta, P.
Ho, N.
Simplaceanu, V.
Tam, T.
Hofreiter, M.
Cooper, A.
Campbell, K.
Ho, C.
Citation: Biochemistry, 2011; 50(34):7350-7360
Publisher: Amer Chemical Soc
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 0006-2960
Statement of
Yue Yuan, Tong-Jian Shen, Priyamvada Gupta, Nancy T. Ho, Virgil Simplaceanu, Tsuey Chyi S. Tam, Michael Hofreiter, Alan Cooper, Kevin L. Campbell and Chien Ho
Abstract: This study is aimed at investigating the molecular basis of environmental adaptation of woolly mammoth hemoglobin (Hb) to the harsh thermal conditions of the Pleistocene ice ages. To this end, we have carried out a comparative biochemical-biophysical characterization of the structural and functional properties of recombinant hemoglobins (rHb) from woolly mammoth (rHb WM) and Asian elephant (rHb AE) in relation to human hemoglobins Hb A and Hb A(2) (a minor component of human blood). We have obtained oxygen equilibrium curves and calculated O(2) affinities, Bohr effects, and the apparent heat of oxygenation (ΔH) in the presence and absence of allosteric effectors [inorganic phosphate and inositol hexaphosphate (IHP)]. Here, we show that the four Hbs exhibit distinct structural properties and respond differently to allosteric effectors. In addition, the apparent heat of oxygenation (ΔH) for rHb WM is less negative than that of rHb AE, especially in phosphate buffer and the presence of IHP, suggesting that the oxygen affinity of mammoth blood was also less sensitive to temperature change. Finally, (1)H NMR spectroscopy data indicates that both α(1)(β/δ)(1) and α(1)(β/δ)(2) interfaces in rHb WM and rHb AE are perturbed, whereas only the α(1)δ(1) interface in Hb A(2) is perturbed compared to that in Hb A. The distinct structural and functional features of rHb WM presumably facilitated woolly mammoth survival in the Arctic environment.
Keywords: Animals; Elephants; Humans; Phosphates; Oxygen; Alkanesulfonic Acids; Morpholines; Hemoglobins; Hemoglobin A2; Blood Substitutes; Buffers; Temperature; Amino Acid Sequence; Hydrogen-Ion Concentration; Molecular Sequence Data; Biophysical Phenomena; Mammoths
Rights: © 2011 American Chemical Society
RMID: 0020113451
DOI: 10.1021/bi200777j
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications

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