Changes in intermediate haemoglobins during autoxidation of haemoglobin
. The time course of haemoglobin autoxidation was studied under various conditions at 37 degrees C, and the changes in oxyhaemoglobin, intermediate haemoglobins and methaemoglobin during the reaction were analysed by isoelectric focusing on Ampholine/polyacrylamide-gel plates. Under various conditions (10 mM-phosphate buffer, 10 mM-phosphate buffer with 0.1 M-phosphate buffer, 10 mM-phosphate buffer with 0.1 M-NaCl, and 10 mM-phosphate buffer with 0.5 mM-inositol hexaphosphate; pH range 6.6-7.8 each case), the intermediate haemoglobins were found to be present as (alpha 2+ beta 3+)2 and (alpha 3+ beta 2+)2 valency hybrids from their characteristic positions on electrophoresis. Oxyhaemoglobin changed consecutively to (alpha 2+ beta 3+)2 and (alpha 3+ beta 2+)2, which were further oxidized to methaemoglobin, and the amounts of (alpha 3+beta 2+)2 were greater than those of (alpha 2+ beta 3+)2 during the reaction. The modes of the quantitative changes in oxyhaemoglobin, intermediate haemoglobins, and methaemoglobin were very similar in all the media used except for the inositol hexaphosphate addition. In the presence of inositol hexaphosphate, the autoxidation rates were considerably accelerated, and the modes of the changes in the haemoglobin derivatives were also considerably altered; the effects of this organic phosphate were maximal at acidic pH and minimal at alkaline pH. It was concluded that haemoglobin autoxidation proceeds by first-order kinetics through two paths: and (formula: see text). The reaction rate constants (k+1-k+4) best fitting all experimental values obtained by the isoelectric-focusing analysis were evaluated. By using these values, the mechanism of haemoglobin autoxidation is discussed.