Use of dual wavelength spectrophotometry and continuous enzymatic depletion of oxygen for determination of the oxygen binding constants of hemoglobin

Todd M. Larsen, Timothy C. Mueser, Lawrence J Parkhurst

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A small stopped-flow cuvette was built into a computer-controlled Cary 210 spectrophotometer. The enzymatic depletion of oxygen in solutions of hemoglobin and myoglobin was initiated by flowing the hemeproteins with the enzyme against a solution of the hemeproteins containing the appropriate substrate. The deoxygenation was homogeneous throughout the solution. Oxygen activity was calculated at each instant of time from the fractional saturation of Mb, determined from observations at the Hb HbO2 isosbestic wavelength. Fractional saturation of Hb was determined from absorbances at the Mb MbO2 isosbestic wavelength. The spectrophotometer cycled between these two wavelengths during the deoxygenation. The deoxygenation of HbO2 was largely complete in 20-25 min, whereas the deoxygenation of MbO2 was allowed to proceed for about 1 h. This procedure eliminates equilibration of Hb solutions with a gas phase and replaces oxygen electrode readings with spectrophotometric sensing by Mb, providing essentially instantaneous determinations of oxygen activity and hence 250-500 or more independent data points per run. The Mb and Hb data vectors require several manipulations to correct for small relative displacements in time and for small non-isosbestic effects. Detailed consideration of the enzyme kinetics allowed oxygen activities to be determined in regions where Mb is a poor sensor. Studies of HbO2 deoxygenation as a function of wavelength show that the determination of the four Adair constants requires in addition the determination of three spectroscopic parameters. Values of the apparent Adair constants, determined without these spectroscopic parameters, depend strongly on the monitoring wavelength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-246
Number of pages16
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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