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28 December 2010

Oxygen is carried Round the Body by Haemoglobin

Red blood cells contain haemoglobin (Hb)

Is a large protein with quaternary structure ­ made up of 4 polypeptide chains

Each chain has haem group which contains iron and gives haemoglobin red colour

Has high affinity for…

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Where pO2 is high Hb has high affinity for O2 (will readily combine with O2), so has high
saturation of O2

Where pO2 low (e.g. respiring tissues), haemoglobin has low affinity for O2, means it releases
O2, so low saturation of O2

Graph S-shaped because when Hb combines with first…

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When CO2 levels increase, dissociation curve shifts down, showing that more O2 is released
from blood (because lower the saturation of haemoglobin with O2, more O2 is released)


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