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X-ray and solubility studies of the haemoglobin of sickle-cell anaemia patients

, : X-ray and solubility studies of the haemoglobin of sickle-cell anaemia patients. Nature 167(4258): 929-931

Both normal and sickle-cell anemia oxyhemoglobin crystallized by Drabkin's method gave tetragonal bipyramids identical in optical and X-ray analysis. But orthorhombic crystals of normal oxyhemoglobin were only P212121, while those from sickle-cell anemia were stable in the form P21212 and could be obtained in the other form only by seeding; the stable form of sickle-cell oxyhemoglobin crystal had 8 instead of 4 molecules per cell. Reduced hemoglobin from sickle-cell anemia was only 1/10 as soluble as that of the normal; its crystallization in the red cells is probably responsible for the sickling. A compact mass of reduced sickle cells when treated with saponin under N2 kept the cell forms intact though membranes were destroyed; on oxygenation a clear soln. resulted.


PMID: 14843112

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