Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 1121(3):269-78, 1992 Jun 24.

Temperature-jump studies and polarized absorption spectroscopy of methemoglobin-thiocyanate single crystals.

Steinhoff HJ, Schrader J, Schlitter J

Institut fur Biophysik, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Germany.

Association equilibria and association kinetics of the thiocyanate binding reaction to methemoglobin in single crystals and solution are studied using temperature-jump technique and polarized absorption spectroscopy. Different kinetic constants are found for the reaction in solution and crystal phase for the alpha- and beta-subunits of the methemoglobin tetramer. The reduction of the reactivity of the alpha- and beta-subunits in crystalline phase is 6-fold and 2.4-fold, respectively, compared to the values found in solution. The intramolecular binding reaction of the N epsilon of the distal histidine E7 which is observed in methemoglobin in solution cannot be detected in single crystals. Our results suggest that crystallization of hemoglobin has little influence on small-scale structural fluctuations which are necessary for ligands to get to the binding sites and large-scale structural motions are suppressed.