Myoglobin protein

Myoglobin protein

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Credit: DR TIM EVANS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Myoglobin. Computer model of the protein myoglobin and its iron-containing haem group (small spheres, upper centre). Myoglobin consists of a chain of 153 amino acids folded into a globin molecule that has a similar function to the globin units that are found in haemoglobin. The haem group surrounds an iron atom (green) that can temporarily bind to oxygen (not seen) and store it for later use. Myoglobin is found in muscle tissue, where the stored oxygen is used during strenuous exercise. The structure of the globin protein protects the haem group (a coenzyme) from being oxidised and destroyed by the oxygen it carries. Myoglobin has a molecular weight of 17,800.

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