KENNETH EWARD / BIOGRAFX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KENNETH EWARD / BIOGRAFX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Haemoglobin. Computer graphic of the haemoglobin molecule. Haemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying pigment in red blood cells. It consists of four globin polypeptide chains (alpha globin = blue, beta globin = yellow), each carrying a haem group (white) with a central iron atom, which binds to oxygen. Haemoglobin transports oxygen around the body by binding reversibly to oxygen when the local concentration is high (in the lungs) and releasing the oxygen when the local concentration falls (in other body tissues). The green structure is the amino acid glutamic acid at residue 6 on replaced by valine due to a mutation.
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