«Hemoglobin (American) or haemoglobin (British) (/ˈhiːməˌɡloʊbɪn, ˈhɛ-, -moʊ-/); abbreviated Hb or Hgb, is the iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein in the red blood cell (erythrocyte) of almost all vertebrates (the exception being the fish family Channichthyidae) as well as the tissues of some invertebrates. Haemoglobin in the blood carries oxygen from the lung or gills to the rest of the body (i.e. the tissues). There it releases the oxygen to permit aerobic respiration to provide energy to power the functions of the organism in the process called metabolism. A healthy individual has 12 to 16 grams of haemoglobin in every 100 ml of blood.
In mammals, the protein makes up about 96% of the red blood cell' dry content (by weight), and around 35% of the total content (including water). Haemoglobin has an oxygen-binding capacity of 1.34 mL O2 per gram, which increases the total blood oxygen capacity seventy-fold compared to dissolved oxygen in blood. The mammalian hemoglobin molecule can bind (carry) up to four oxygen molecules.
Hemoglobin is involved in the transport of other gases: It carries some of the body's respiratory carbon dioxide (about 20–25% of the total) as carbaminohemoglobin, in which CO2 is bound to the heme protein. The molecule also carries the important regulatory molecule nitric oxide bound to a globin protein thiol group, releasing it at the same time as oxygen.
Haemoglobin is also found outside red blood cell and their progenitor lines. Other cell that contain haemoglobin include the A9 dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, macrophage, alveolar cell, lung, retinal pigment epithelium, hepatocyte, mesangial cell in the kidney, endometrial cell, cervical cell and vaginal epithelial cell. In these tissues, haemoglobin has a non-oxygen-carrying function as an antioxidant and a regulator of iron metabolism.
Haemoglobin and haemoglobin-like molecules are also found in many invertebrates, fungi, and plants. In these organisms, haemoglobins may carry oxygen, or they may act to transport and regulate other small molecules and ions such as carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, hydrogen sulfide and sulfide. A variant of the molecule, called leghaemoglobin, is used to scavenge oxygen away from anaerobic systems, such as the nitrogen-fixing nodules of leguminous plants, before the oxygen can poison (deactivate) the system.» (wikipedia)
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