I think I’m going to be incorporating little rants about molecular biology into my blog. After all, it is my major and it excites me.
This is Hemoglobin, the protein embedded in red blood cells that is primarily responsible for delivering oxygen to your cells. Most proteins become functional at the tertiary structure, but Hemoglobin is an example of a globular protein that becomes operational at the quaternary structure where multiple tertiary structured proteins are modified into one functional protein. In Hemoglobin’s case, there are two alpha-globins and two beta-globins. What gives Hemoglobin the ability to transport oxygen is the addition of a cofactor to each globin, specifically a heme group, named such because it contains Iron. To simplify, Oxygen is attracted to Iron because Iron is positively charged while Oxygen is negative. This attraction is how Hemoglobin delivers Oxygen to the body.