Hemoglobin is the iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein in the red blood cells of all vertebrates.

Function of Hemoglobin: Hemoglobin in the blood carries oxygen from the respiratory organs (lungs or gills) to the rest of the body. The mammalian hemoglobin molecule can bind (carry) up to four oxygen molecules.

Hemoglobin is involved in the transport of other gases: It carries some of the body’s respiratory carbon dioxide as carbaminohemoglobin, in which CO2 is bound to the globin protein. (Largest amount of CO2 produced in the cell is carried to the lungs as bicarbonate ions dissolved in the plasma).

The molecule also carries the important regulatory molecule nitric oxide bound to a globin protein thiol group, releasing it at the same time as oxygen.

  • Hemoglobin is also found outside red blood cells. In these tissues, hemoglobin has a non-oxygen-carrying function as an antioxidant and a regulator of iron metabolism.

A variant of the molecule, called leghemoglobin, is used to scavenge oxygen away from anaerobic systems, such as the nitrogen-fixing nodules of leguminous plants before the oxygen can poison (deactivate) the system.

Hemoglobin (Hb) is synthesized in a complex series of steps. The heme part is synthesized in a series of steps in the mitochondria and the cytosol of immature red blood cells, while the globin protein parts are synthesized by ribosomes in the cytosol.

The largest amount of CO2 produced in the cell is carried to the lungs as bicarbonate ions dissolved in the plasma.

Practice Questions

1. Which of the following is responsible for the transportation of oxygen to the body part?

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a. WBC

b. Plasma

c. Hemoglobin

d. Platelets

2. Which element is present in hemoglobin?

a. Zinc

b. Iron

c. Copper

d. Potassium

3. Excess inhalation of Carbon mono oxide causes-

a. Asphyxiation

b. Emphysema

b. Asthma


4. Which one of the following is responsible for Nitrogen fixation in leguminous plants?

a. ABA

b. Auxin

c. Gibberlin

d. Leghemoglobin

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