Resonance Raman spectra of the heme in leghemoglobin. Evidence for the absence of ruffling and the influence of the vinyl groups.

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Resonance Raman spectra of deoxy and carbonmonoxy leghemoglobin (Lb) are compared to the corresponding forms of human adult hemoglobin (HbA). It is found that the heme "core size" indicator line has nearly the same frequency for the two deoxyhemoglobins and the pi-electron density-sensitive line also falls at the same frequency. However, several other modes occur at very different frequencies in the spectra of the two proteins. From an examination of the spectrum of an HbA derivative in which the beta-carbon atoms of the heme vinyl groups were deuterated, it appears that the major differences between deoxy-HbA and -Lb may result from conformational changes in the vinyl groups. No evidence for the suggested ruffling (Irwin, M. J., Armstrong, R. S., and Wright, P. E. (1981) FEBS Lett. 133, 239-243) in deoxy-Lb was found. The spectra of carbonmonoxy-Lb and -HbA were also found to be very different. As in the deoxy case, some of these frequency differences could be attributed to vinyl group conformational differences. However, from the large difference in the pi-electron density-sensitive line, it appears that the vinyl pi-conjugation into the porphyrin in Lb(CO) may be different than it is in HbA(CO). The vinyl conformational differences may be a consequence of the looser heme pocket in Lb than in HbA. The difference in pi-conjugation could make a significant contribution to the difference in ligand binding affinity for these two globins.

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Journal of Biological Chemistry

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