Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 628–636 | Cite as

Interdomain linkage in the polymeric hemoglobin molecule of Artemia

  • Clive N.A. Trotman
  • Anthony M. Manning
  • John A. Bray
  • Anna M. Jelliel
  • Luc Moens
  • Warren P. Tate


Artemia has evolved the longest known concatenation of hemoglobin domains, the α subunit containing nine domains and the β subunit having a similar size. Translation of the cDNA sequence of the α subunit reveals eight regions of inter-domain polypeptide linking together the nine heme-binding domains, together with partially analogous sequences preceding the first domain and following the last. Analysis of the structural possibilities of the linker sequences suggests how the domains may be organized in the subunit.

The interdomain linker sequences were 14%–64% identical (62%–91% similar by Dayhoff substitution matrix) and approximately 14 residues in length including a consensus -Val-Asp-Pro-Val-Thr-Gly-Leu-. The linker composition resembled that of the 11 amino acid pre-A leader sequence of Petromyzon marinus (lamprey) hemoglobin V, the structure of which is known. Prediction of structure from the Artemia linker sequences indicated a nonhelical, turn-associated linker which could be modeled to the Petromyzon leader. Measurements confirmed that such a structure could support the packing of nine Artemia domains into a polymeric subunit of annular shape, two of which subunits (which can be similar or dissimilar) comprise the physiological molecule.

The position of interdomain introns and the character of a variable residue early in the linker are compatible with the nine-domain polymer having evolved through gene duplication reflected in globin domain fusion incorporating an extension specifically of the N-terminus. The multiplication of an original single-domain globin gene to give the present nine is estimated from sequence differences, allowing for multiple mutations at individual sites, to have occurred in a period at least 500–700 million years ago.

Key words

Protein evolution Artemia Linker Hemoglobin 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clive N.A. Trotman
    • 1
  • Anthony M. Manning
    • 1
  • John A. Bray
    • 1
  • Anna M. Jelliel
    • 1
  • Luc Moens
    • 2
  • Warren P. Tate
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversitaire Instelling AntwerpenAntwerpBelgium

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