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How Hemoglobin carries Oxygen

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Holly Fulkerson

on 25 May 2014

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Transcript of How Hemoglobin carries Oxygen

How Hemoglobin carries Oxygen
Hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues to the cells. When Hemoglobin carries oxygen, the protein structure changes. The Heme group contains iron. When oxygen binds to the iron the shape of the heme group changes by oxygen "tugging" onto the Iron. Cooperativity Phenomenon is when there are low levels of oxygen hemoglobin does not bind easily, but as oxygen binds to hemoglobin the affinity will increase. The shape change that occurs when one oxygen binds is what actually makes it easier for more oxygen to bind subsequently. This change along with the change in color that occurs (oxygen turns hemoglobin from blue to red) when oxygen saturates hemoglobin are the two major differences between oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin (Hudson-Miller, 2012).
The Bohr Effect explains the phenomenon that occurs when oxygen loses its binding affinity for hemoglobin in the presence of carbon dioxide or decreased pH. The lungs breathe in oxygen. Oxygen will then bind to hemoglobin; Carbon Dioxide causes Oxygen to disassociate from the hemoglobin and oxygen enters the tissues that need to meet its demands. Carbon Dioxide is then carried on the hemoglobin to the lungs, where it is exhaled and removed from the body (Hudson-Miller, 2012). Please see the attachment in the next slide for a visual representation.
Bohr Effect
Molecular difference between Hemoglobin and Sickle Cell
Cellular difference between Hemoglobin and Sickle Cell
Normal Hemoglobin carries Oxygen from the lungs to the tissues to nourish cells without issues. When cells become sickled due to fiber formation from pockets that are formed because the mutated subunit is hydrophobic, there are issues in oxygen transport. Sickle cells have pockets on the outside of their cell in areas of hydrophobicity. These pockets cause the cells to clump together. The problem is not the cells ability to carry oxygen, the problem is traveling. The clumped cells cannot fit through capillaries where gas exchange occurs (Hudson-Miller, 2012).
Carriers of the Sickle Cell gene mutation have an autosomal recessive condition, which means they will not usually become symptomatic, but they carry the mutated gene in their DNA. If both parents are carriers and have a child, there is a 25% chance of having a child with normal hemoglobin, 50% chance of having a child that is a carrier like themselves, and a 25% chance of having a child that will inherit the diseased gene completely which means they will be symptomatic of the disease (Hudson-Miller, 2012). Please see the next diagram for a visual representation.
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