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Functional behavior of tortoise hemoglobin Geochelone denticulata

Author(s): TORSONI M. A. | STOPPA G. R. | TURRA A. | OGO S. H.

Journal: Brazilian Journal of Biology
ISSN 1519-6984

Volume: 62;
Issue: 4a;
Start page: 725;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: hemoglobin | Hb-O2 affinity | Bohr effect | Geochelone denticulata | tortoise

The hemolysate from Geochelone denticulata contains two main hemoglobin components, as shown by ion exchange chromatography and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). Electrophoresis under dissociating conditions showed three types of globin chains. The apparent molecular mass, as determined by gel filtration on Sephadex G-200, was compatible with tetrameric Hb, which was unable to polymerize. The G. denticulata Hb has a P50 value of 9.56 mm Hg at pH 7.4. The Hb oxygenation appears to be under the control of organic phosphates and hydrogen ion since it is strongly affected by those species. In the presence ATP or IHP the P50 values increased to 29.51 mm Hg and 54.95 mm Hg, respectively, at pH 7.4. The n50 was generally lower than 1.5 in stripped Hb, suggesting a dissociation of tetramers. In the presence of organic phosphates n50 values increased to approximately 2.5. The Bohr effect was evident in oxygen equilibrium experiments. The hematocrit (32%) and Hb concentration (5.7 mM as heme) of G. denticulata blood were substantially larger than those of G. carbonaria, but the methemoglobin levels were similar in both species, approximately 1%. Thus, the oxygen capacity of blood appears to be higher in G. denticulata than in G. carbonaria, particularly considering the functional properties of their Hbs, which would guarantee the survival of animals.
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