Heme-heme interactions in a homodimeric cooperative hemoglobin. Evidence from transient Raman scattering

D. L. Rousseau, S. Song, J. M. Friedman, A. Boffi, E. Chiancone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The comparison of the resonance Raman spectrum of the deoxy dimeric hemoglobin (HbI) from the Arcid clam, Scapharca inaequivalvis, to its CO photoproduct at 10 ns reveals several significant differences in the low frequency vibrational modes including those involving motions of the peripheral substituents on the heme such as the propionates. This finding reflects the involvement of the propionates in a hydrogen bonding network which connects the two heme groups across the subunit interface and is sensitive to ligand binding. A frequency difference in the iron-histidine stretching mode of 6 cm-1 in this invertebrate hemoglobin is substantially smaller than that detected in tetrameric vertebrate hemoglobins under similar conditions. Time evolution studies of the vibrational modes from the photoproduct demonstrate that the transient form relaxes to the deoxy structure concertedly with a half-life of 1 μs, the time scale in which tertiary relaxations of tetrameric hemoglobins occur. These data establish that the tertiary and quaternary structural changes take place on the same time scale and confirm a mechanism of cooperativity involving direct interaction between the two heme groups through the peripheral substituents. This direct structural communication provides a very tight linkage between the heme groups prohibiting modulation of the oxygen affinity by factors in the physiological milieu.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5719-5723
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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