Five radioactive peaks can be identified when hemolysates prepared from 59Fe-labelled guinea pig reticlocytes are subjected to molecular sieve chromatography. The third peak, hemoglobin, is followed by another hemi-containing peak eluting with an apparent molecular weight of 17,000. We now demonstrate that this 17,000 MW peak consists of α-chains. The high specific activity (59Fe/heme) of these α-chains suggests that they may be the primary site of heme entry into the hemoglobin molecule.
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