Ebner Bettina

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    The nerve hemoglobin of the bivalve mollusc Spisula solidissima : molecular cloning, ligand binding studies, and phylogenetic analysis
    (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2005-12-13) Dewilde, Sylvia ; Ebner, Bettina ; Vinck, Evi ; Gilany, Kambiz ; Hankeln, Thomas ; Burmester, Thorsten ; Kreiling, Jill A. ; Reinisch, Carol L. ; Vanfleteren, Jacques R. ; Kiger, Laurent ; Marden, Michael C. ; Hundahl, Christian ; Fago, Angela ; Van Doorslaer, Sabine ; Moens, Luc
    Members of the hemoglobin (Hb) superfamily are present in nerve tissue of several vertebrate and invertebrate species. In vertebrates they display hexacoordinate heme iron atoms and are typically expressed at low levels (µM). Their function is still a matter of debate. In invertebrates they have a hexa- or pentacoordinate heme iron, are mostly expressed at high levels (mM), and have been suggested to have a myoglobin-like function. The native Hb of the surf clam, Spisula solidissima, composed of 162 amino acids, does not show specific deviations from the globin templates. UV-visible and resonance Raman spectroscopy demonstrate a hexacoordinate heme iron. Based on the sequence analogy, the histidine E7 is proposed as a sixth ligand. Kinetic and equilibrium measurements show a moderate oxygen affinity (P50 ~0.6 torr) and no cooperativity. The histidine binding affinity is 100-fold lower than in neuroglobin. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates a clustering of the S. solidissima nerve Hb with mollusc Hbs and myoglobins, but not with the vertebrate neuroglobins. We conclude that invertebrate nerve Hbs expressed at high levels are, despite the hexacoordinate nature of their heme iron, not essentially different from other intracellular Hbs. They most likely fulfill a myoglobin-like function and enhance oxygen supply to the neurons