39 Normal Hemoglobin Structure

Michelle To and Valentin Villatoro

Location of globin genes:1

Chromosome 16: α globin genes

Chromosome 11: β globin genes

 

One α globin gene and one β globin gene are inherited from each parent.

 

Normal hemoglobin A is made up of two α globin chains, two β globin chains, and four heme molecules.

 

Heme is formed from protoporphyrin ring precurosors and ferrous iron (Fe2+).

 

Table #1 Normal hemoglobin content at various stages of life.1

Embryonic:

Hb Gower I      (ζ2ε2)

Hb Gower II     (α2ε2)

Hb Portland     (ζ2γ2)

Fetal:

HbF     (α2γ2)

Adult:

HbA       (α2β2)    >95%

HbA2     (α2δ2)    <3.5%

HbF       (α2γ2)     1-2%


References:

1. Keohane EM. Hemoglobin metabolism. In: Rodak’s hematology clinical applications and principles. 5th ed. St. Louis, Missouri: Saunders; 2015. p. 124-36.

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A Laboratory Guide to Clinical Hematology by Michelle To and Valentin Villatoro is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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