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Stereochemistry of Cooperative Effects in Haemoglobin: Haem–Haem Interaction and the Problem of Allostery

Naturevolume 228pages726734 (1970) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The oxygenation of haemoglobin is accompanied by structural changes in the subunits triggered by shifts of the iron atoms relative to the porphyrin and, in the β-subunits, also by the steric effect of oxygen itself. The oxygen-free form is constrained by salt-bridges which are broken by the energy of haem–haem interaction with the release of H+. 2,3-Diphosphoglycerate may add to the constraints by being stereochemically complementary to a site between the β-chains ; this complementarity is lost on oxygenation.

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  1. MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2QH

    • M. F. PERUTZ

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https://doi.org/10.1038/228726a0

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