Aggregation of deoxyhemoglobin S at low concentrations.
The self-association of deoxyhemoglobin S was measured in dilute solutions (0 to 5 g/dl) by Rayleigh light scattering at 630 nm and osmometry in 0.05 M potassium phosphate buffer (pH 7.35). Weight and number average molecular weights (Mw and Mn, respectively) and the second or higher virial coefficients, B' were determined. No experimentally significant differences were observed between oxy- and deoxy-Hb S up to the concentration of 2 g/dl; their apparent average molecular weights were within experimental error. Above that concentration, both Mn and Mw of deoxy-Hb S were significantly different from that of oxy-Hb S. The negative second viral coefficent of deoxy-Hb S, observed by both techniques, is consistent with the self-association of this protein. The lack of effect of 0.4 M propylurea on the state of aggregation and the significant influence of 0.1 M NaCl suggests that polar interactions are involved in formation of these aggregates. (+info
Polymer structure and solubility of deoxyhemoglobin S in the presence of high concentrations of volume-excluding 70-kDa dextran. Effects of non-s hemoglobins and inhibitors.
Earlier observations indicated that volume exclusion by admixed non-hemoglobin macromolecules lowered the polymer solubility ("Csat") of deoxyhemoglobin (Hb) S, presumably by increasing its activity. In view of the potential usefulness of these observations for in vitro studies of sickling-related polymerization, we examined the ultrastructure, solubility behavior, and phase distributions of deoxygenated mixtures of Hb S with 70-kDa dextran, a relatively inert, low ionic strength space-filling macromolecule. Increasing admixture of dextran progressively lowered the Csat of deoxyHb S. With 12 g/dl dextran, a 5-fold decrease in apparent Csat ("dextran-Csat") was obtained together with acceptable sensitivity and proportionality with the standard Csat when assessing the effects of non-S Hb admixtures (A, C, and F) or polymerization inhibitors (alkylureas or phenylalanine). The volume fraction of dextran excluding Hb was 70-75% of total deoxyHb-dextran (12 g/dl) volumes. Electron microscopy showed polymer fibers and fiber-to-crystal transitions indistinguishable from those formed without dextran. Thus when Hb quantities are limited, as with genetically engineered recombinant Hbs or transgenic sickle mice, the dextran-Csat provides convenient and reliable screening of effects of Hb S modifications on polymerization under near-physiological conditions, avoiding problems of high ionic strength. (+info
In vivo blood flow abnormalities in the transgenic knockout sickle cell mouse.
The accepted importance of circulatory impairment to sickle cell anemia remains to be verified by in vivo experimentation. Intravital microscopy studies of blood flow in patients are limited to circulations that can be viewed noninvasively and are restricted from deliberate perturbations of the circulation. Further knowledge of sickle blood flow abnormalities has awaited an animal model of human sickle cell disease. We compared blood flow in the mucosal-intestinal microvessels of normal mice with that in transgenic knockout sickle cell mice that have erythrocytes containing only human hemoglobin S and that exhibit a degree of hemolytic anemia and pathological complications similar to the human disease. In sickle cell mice, in addition to seeing blood flow abnormalities such as sludging in all microvessels, we detected decreased blood flow velocity in venules of all diameters. Flow responses to hyperoxia in both normal and sickle cell mice were dramatic, but opposite: Hyperoxia promptly slowed or halted flow in normal mice but markedly enhanced flow in sickle cell mice. Intravital microscopic studies of this murine model provide important insights into sickle cell blood flow abnormalities and suggest that this model can be used to evaluate the causes of abnormal flow and new approaches to therapy of sickle cell disease. (+info
Sickle hemoglobin polymer melting in high concentration phosphate buffer.
Sickle cell hemoglobin (HbS) prepared in argon-saturated 1.8 M phosphate buffer was rapidly mixed with carbon monoxide (CO)-saturated buffer. The binding of CO to the sickle hemoglobin and the simultaneous melting of the hemoglobin polymers were monitored by transmission spectroscopy (optical absorption and turbidity). Changes in the absorption profile were interpreted as resulting from CO binding to deoxy-HbS while reduced scattering (turbidity) was attributed to melting (depolymerization) of the HbS polymer phase. Analysis of the data provides insight into the mechanism and kinetics of sickle hemoglobin polymer melting. Conversion of normal deoxygenated, adult hemoglobin (HbA) in high concentration phosphate buffer to the HbA-CO adduct was characterized by an average rate of 83 s-1. Under the same conditions, conversion of deoxy-HbS in the polymer phase to the HbS-CO adduct in the solution phase is characterized by an average rate of 5.8 s-1 via an intermediate species that grows in with a 36 s-1 rate. Spectral analysis of the intermediate species suggests that a significant amount of CO may bind to the polymer phase before the polymer melts. (+info
Solution-active structural alterations in liganded hemoglobins C (beta6 Glu --> Lys) and S (beta6 Glu --> Val).
Based upon existing crystallographic evidence, HbS, HbC, and HbA have essentially the same molecular structure. However, important areas of the molecule are not well defined crystallographically (e.g. the N-terminal nonhelical portion of the alpha and beta chains), and conformational constraints differ in solution and in the crystalline state. Over the years, our laboratory and others have provided evidence of conformational changes in HbS and, more recently, in HbC. We now present data based upon allosteric perturbation monitored by front-face fluorescence, ultraviolet resonance Raman spectroscopy, circular dichroism, and oxygen equilibrium studies that confirm and significantly expand previous findings suggesting solution-active structural differences in liganded forms of HbS and HbC distal to the site of mutation and involving the 2,3-diphosphoglycerate binding pocket. The liganded forms of these hemoglobins are of significant interest because HbC crystallizes in the erythrocyte in the oxy form, and oxy HbS exhibits increased mechanical precipitability and a high propensity to oxidize. Specific findings are as follows: 1) differences in the intrinsic fluorescence indicate that the Trp microenvironments are more hydrophobic for HbS > HbC > HbA, 2) ultraviolet resonance Raman spectroscopy detects alterations in Tyr hydrogen bonding, in Trp hydrophobicity at the alpha1beta2 interface (beta37), and in the A-helix (alpha14/beta15) of both chains, 3) displacement by inositol hexaphosphate of the Hb-bound 8-hydroxy-1,3,6-pyrenetrisulfonate (the fluorescent 2,3-diphosphoglycerate analog) follows the order HbA > HbS > HbC, and 4) oxygen equilibria measurements indicate a differential allosteric effect by inositol hexaphosphate for HbC approximately HbS > HbA. (+info
Repairing the sickle cell mutation. I. Specific covalent binding of a photoreactive third strand to the mutated base pair.
A DNA third strand with a 3'-psoralen substituent was designed to form a triplex with the sequence downstream of the T.A mutant base pair of the human sickle cell beta-globin gene. Triplex-mediated psoralen modification of the mutant T residue was sought as an approach to gene repair. The 24-nucleotide purine-rich target sequence switches from one strand to the other and has four pyrimidine interruptions. Therefore, a third strand sequence favorable to two triplex motifs was used, one parallel and the other antiparallel to it. To cope with the pyrimidine interruptions, which weaken third strand binding, 5-methylcytosine and 5-propynyluracil were used in the third strand. Further, a six residue "hook" complementary to an overhang of a linear duplex target was added to the 5'-end of the third strand via a T(4) linker. In binding to the overhang by Watson-Crick pairing, the hook facilitates triplex formation. This third strand also binds specifically to the target within a supercoiled plasmid. The psoralen moiety at the 3'-end of the third strand forms photoadducts to the targeted T with high efficiency. Such monoadducts are known to preferentially trigger reversion of the mutation by DNA repair enzymes. (+info
The reaction of deoxy-sickle cell hemoglobin with hydroxyurea.
In addition to its capacity to increase fetal hemoglobin levels, other mechanisms are implicated in hydroxyurea's ability to provide beneficial effects to patients with sickle cell disease. We hypothesize that the reaction of hemoglobin with hydroxyurea may play a role. It is shown that hydroxyurea reacts with deoxy-sickle cell hemoglobin (Hb) to form methemoglobin (metHb) and nitrosyl hemoglobin (HbNO). The products of the reaction as well as the kinetics are followed by absorption spectroscopy and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Analysis of the kinetics shows that the reaction can be approximated by a pseudo-first order rate constant of 3.7x10(-4) (1/(s.M)) for the disappearance of deoxy-sickle cell hemoglobin. Further analysis shows that HbNO is formed at an observed average rate of 5.25x10(-5) (1/s), three to four times slower than the rate of formation of metHb. EPR spectroscopy is used to show that the formation of HbNO involves the specific transfer of NO from the NHOH group of hydroxyurea. The potential importance of this reaction is discussed in the context of metHb and HbNO being able to increase the delay time for sickle cell hemoglobin polymerization and HbNO's vasodilating capabilities through conversion to S-nitrosohemoglobin. (+info
Effects of S-nitrosation on oxygen binding by normal and sickle cell hemoglobin.
S-Nitrosated hemoglobin (SNO-Hb) is of interest because of the allosteric control of NO delivery from SNO-Hb made possible by the conformational differences between the R- and T-states of Hb. To better understand SNO-Hb, the oxygen binding properties of S-nitrosated forms of normal and sickle cell Hb were investigated. Spectral assays and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry were used to quantify the degree of S-nitrosation. Hb A(0) and unpolymerized Hb S exhibit similar shifts toward their R-state conformations in response to S-nitrosation, with increased oxygen affinity and decreased cooperativity. Responses to 2, 3-diphosphoglycerate were unaltered, indicating regional changes in the deoxy structure of SNO-Hb that accommodate NO adduction. A cycle of deoxygenation/reoxygenation does not cause loss of NO or appreciable heme oxidation. There is, however, appreciable loss of NO and heme oxidation when oxygen-binding experiments are carried out in the presence of glutathione. These results indicate that the in vivo stability of SNO-Hb and its associated vasoactivity depend on the abundance of thiols and other factors that influence transnitrosation reactions. The increased oxygen affinity and R-state character that result from S-nitrosation of Hb S would be expected to decrease its polymerization and thereby lessen the associated symptoms of sickle cell disease. (+info