Hemoglobin

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In biology, hemoglobin is the "oxygen-carrying pigments of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The structure of the globin moiety differs between species."[1]

Human hemoglobins

Embryos

The normal human embryo hemoglobin has two ζ-chains and two ε-chains.

Fetuses

In human fetuses the normal hemoglobin is Hemoglobin F (also called Hemoglobin F). Hemoglobin F has "two alpha and two gamma polypeptide subunits in comparison to normal adult hemoglobin, which has two alpha and two beta polypeptide subunits. Fetal hemoglobin concentrations can be elevated (usually above 0.5%) in children and adults affected by leukemia and several types of anemia."[2]

Adults

The normal adult human hemoglobin is Hemoglobin A. This hemoglobin consists of two alpha and two beta chains.[3] A less common hemoglobin found in normal adults is Hemoglobin A2. Hemoglobin A2 is an "adult hemoglobin component normally present in hemolysates from human erythrocytes in concentrations of about 3%. The hemoglobin is composed of two alpha chains and two delta chains. The percentage of HbA2 varies in some hematologic disorders, but is about double in beta-thalassemia."[4]

Genetics

Normal hemoglobins

Most humans carry:[5]

  • "two α-globin genes on chromosome 16"
  • "two γ-globin genes on chromosome 11"
  • "a single δ-globin gene, and a single β-gene on chromosome 11"

References