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Photosensitivity of Hæm Compounds


Haldane and Lorrain Smith1 discovered that carboxyhæmoglobin is sensitive to light, and several workers have shown that this property is shared by other ferrohæm–carbon monoxide compounds. Until Keilin and Hartree2 found that the cyanide compounds of ferroperoxidase and myoglobin were light-sensitive, it was generally believed that carbon monoxide compounds were unique in this respect. We have now found that oxyhæmoglobin, nitric oxide hæmoglobin and ethyl isocyanide hæmoglobin are light-sensitive, thus showing that all the known ligands able to combine with ferrohæmoglobin are qualitatively similar.

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  2. Keilin, D., and Hartree, E. F., Biochem. J., 61, 153 (1955).

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  3. Norrish, R. G. W., and Porter, G., Disc. Farad. Soc., 17, 40 (1954).

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  4. Gibson, Q. H., J. Physiol., 134, 112 (1956).

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GIBSON, Q., AINSWORTH, S. Photosensitivity of Hæm Compounds. Nature 180, 1416–1417 (1957).

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