Haem Structure and Function


Haems are the vital catalysts in a large number of biological processes, including oxygen transport, oxygen storage, electron transport and oxygenation. Haem proteins contain an iron complex of porphyrin, usually protoporphyrin IX, and exist in haemoglobin, myoglobin, cytochromes, catalases, peroxidases, oxygenases and oxidases.

Keywords: haemoproteins; haemoglobins; cytochromes; catalases; peroxidases

Figure 1.

Catalytic cycle for all peroxidases.

Figure 2.

Catalytic cycle for cytochrome P450.



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Further Reading

Bunn HF and Forget BG (1986) Hemoglobin: Molecular, Genetic and Clinical Aspects. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.

Dickerson RE and Geis I (1983) Hemoglobin: Structure, Function, Evolution and Pathology. Menlo Park, CA: Benjamin/Cummings.

Everse J, Everse KE and Grisham MB (eds) (1991) Peroxidases in Chemistry and Biology, vols I and II. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Kadish KM, Guilard R and Smith KM (eds) (1999) Handbook of Porphyrins and Related Macrocycles. New York: Academic Press.

Kiel JL (1995) Type‐b Cytochromes: Sensors and Switches. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Lemberg R and Barrett J (1973) Cytochromes. London: Academic Press.

Omura T, Ishimura Y and Fujii‐Kuriyama Y (eds) (1993) Cytochrome P450, 2nd edn. Weinheim: VCH Publishers.

Ortiz de Montellano PR (ed.) (1995) Cytochrome P450: Structure, Mechanism and Biochemistry, 2nd edn. New York: Plenum.

Pettigrew GW and Moore GR (1987) Cytochromes c: Biological Aspects. Berlin: Springer‐Verlag.

Smith KM (ed) (1975) Porphyrins and Metalloporphyrins. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

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Vicente, Maria da Graça H, and Smith, Kevin M(Apr 2001) Haem Structure and Function. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0000605]