Biology 10.1 Haemoglobin

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Haemoglobin molecules

Haemoglobins = group of chemically similar molecules found in wide variety of organism.

  • Primary structure = four polypeptide chains
  • Secondary structure = polypeptide chains coiled into helixes.
  • Tertiary structure = each polypeptide chain folded into precise shape - important factor in its ability to carry oxygen.
  • Quaternary structure = all four polypeptides linked, form almost spherical molecule. Each polypeptide associated with a haem group (contians Fe2+ ion which can combine with a single oxygen molecule, so 4 O molecules per haemoglobin molecule.

Role of haemoglobin

Transport oxygens so it must:

  • Readily associate with oxygen at surface where


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