Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

WFU researchers discover new hemoglobin function

06.11.2007
Research results featured in Nature Chemical Biology

A team of researchers from Wake Forest University, the National Institutes of Health and other institutions has discovered a previously undetected chemical process within the oxygen-carrying molecule hemoglobin that could have far-reaching implications for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

In a paper published online Nov. 4 in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, senior authors Daniel Kim-Shapiro, professor of physics at Wake Forest, and Mark Gladwin, chief of the Vascular Medicine Branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH, describe how hemoglobin, through a catalytic reaction that does not change its own chemical properties, converts nitrite salt to the vasodilator nitric oxide. The paper further documents how the nitric oxide activity harnessed by hemoglobin escapes the red blood cell to regulate blood flow and how the process, surprisingly, relies on the oxidized, or rusted, form of hemoglobin, previously associated only with diseased states.

“We believe we have solved the paradox of how hemoglobin mediates the conversion of nitrite to nitric oxide in a way that it is not immediately destroyed in the red cell and so it can be effective biologically,” Kim-Shapiro says.

... more about:
»blood »hemoglobin »nitric »nitric oxide »nitrite »reaction

In the bloodstream, iron-rich hemoglobin consumes, on contact, any free nitric oxide released by the blood vessels, so the idea that hemoglobin participates in forming nitric oxide had seemed implausible until recently.

In 2003, Gladwin and collaborators at the NIH, Wake Forest and the University of Alabama discovered that nitrite salt, the same substance used to cure meat and previously thought to be biologically inert, serves in the cell as a storage pool for nitric oxide. Since then, nitrite has been the object of intense study by researchers worldwide in pursuit of new treatments for such conditions as sickle cell disease, myocardial infarction, pulmonary hypertension, stroke and atherosclerosis.

In the most recent study, the researchers conclude that the nitrite-hemoglobin reaction generates dinitrogen trioxide (N2O3), which takes one of several pathways from the red blood cell and later separates into nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

The newly discovered chemistry in hemoglobin has eluded scientists for a century because the intermediate molecule, nitrite-methemoglobin, formed during the process cannot be observed by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, the most sophisticated analysis technique currently available. That has rendered the reaction “invisible” by direct observation, but indirect measurement of the process is possible.

“Using a variety of biophysical techniques and by careful examination of the rates of reactions and the products that are made when experimenting with hemoglobin and nitrite, we were able to discover this reaction mechanism,” Kim-Shapiro explains.

Eric Frazier | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfu.edu
http://dx.doi.org

Further reports about: blood hemoglobin nitric nitric oxide nitrite reaction

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ambush in a petri dish
24.11.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>