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Interpreting Observations on Hemoglobin Cooperativity

Under appropriate conditions, hemoglobin dissociates into four subunits. The isolated alpha subunit binds oxygen, but the O2-saturation curve is hyperbolic rather than sigmoidal. In addition, the binding of oxygen to the isolated alpha subunit is not affected by H+, CO2, or BPG. What do these observations indicate about the source of cooperativity in hemoglobin?

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The oxygen saturation curve for the isolated alpha subunit is hyperbolic. What does that mean? That means that there is no cooperativity from its other subunits. Well, that makes sense since it's an isolated chain! Nevertheless, you will also notice that the ...

Solution Summary

Brief explanation of how subunit and o2-saturation curve observations can give clues about cooperativity in hemoglobin.