Quaternary Structure and Modulation of Function in Earthworm Erythrocruorin
In the study of the structural and functional properties of erythrocruorins one of the most interesting aspects regards the elucidation of the reciprocal effects arising from the interplay of protons, monovalent and divalent cations. It may be recalled that erythrocruorins are characterized by a complex hierarchical quaternary structure. Thus, in the electron microscope the native molecule appears as an hexagonal bilayer with an apparently empty central cavity, each layer consisting of six subunits; in turn the 1/12 subunits are formed by three or four lower molecular weight ones (1,2). However, the detailed arrangement of the constituent polypeptide chains in the subunits appearing in the electron microscope is still elusive.
KeywordsHexagonal Carboxyl Polypeptide Macromolecule
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