Carriage of oxygen

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Haemoglobin

  • Oxygen is transported in erythrocytes- contain haemoglobin
  • When haemoglobin takes up oxygen it becomes oxyhaemoglobin
  • H- complex protein with 4 subunits- each subunit consists of a polypeptide (protein) chain & a haem (non protein) group
  • The haem group contains a single iron atom in the form of Fe2+ - can attract & hold an O2
  • Therefore, haemoglobin can hold up to 4 oxygen molecules 

Taking up oxygen

  • Oxygen is absorbed into the blood in the lungs
  • Oxygen molecules diffusing into the blood plasma enter the erythrocytes- here they are taken up by H

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