Dictionary > Hemoglobin

Hemoglobin

Definition
noun, plural: hemoglobins
A biomolecule made up of haeme (i.e. oxygen-carrying, nonprotein, ferrous component) and globin in red blood cells
Supplement
Red blood cells or erythrocytes take up oxygen through the respiratory circuit and deliver the oxygen to the tissues via the circulatory system. The erythrocytes of vertebrates are rich in hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-containing biomolecule. It is made up of four haem (or heme) groups and globin. The haem groups contain iron atoms that can bind reversibly to oxygen molecules. There are four globin polypeptide chains, designated as alpha, beta, gamma, and delta, respectively, in the adult. Each is composed of several hundred amino acids. A hemoprotein composed of globin and heme that gives red blood cells their characteristic color. Thus, the primary function of hemoglobin is to bind to oxygen molecules in the respiratory organs such as lungs and gills, and then transport oxygen to tissues. Apart from oxygen, the hemoglobin can also bind to and carry waste product, i.e. carbon dioxide, from tissues. In adult humans, the erythrocytes lack a nucleus and other organelles in order to maximize space for hemoglobin.
Word origin: Greek haîma (blood) + Latin globus (ball, sphere) + -in
Abbreviation / Acronym: Hb or Hgb
Variant(s):

  • haemoglobin (British)

See also:

  • heme
  • blood
  • erythrocyte
  • Related term(s):


    You will also like...

    Control of body movement
    Control of Body Movement

    Some of the body movements can be controlled at will, others cannot. The body has a motor program, which is the pattern ..

    Structural depiction of catalase, an enzyme
    Protein Activity and Cellular Metabolism

    Proteins have a crucial role in various biological activities. Get to know how proteins are able to perform as enzymes, ..

    Thermographic image of face and neck
    Regulation of Organic Metabolism, Growth and Energy Balance

    The human body is capable of regulating growth and energy balance through various feedback mechanisms. Get to know the e..

    Plant Water Regulation
    Plant Water Regulation

    Plants need to regulate water in order to stay upright and structurally stable. Find out the different evolutionary adap..

    Bryophytes
    Bryophytes

    Bryophytes (nonvascular plants) are a plant group characterized by lacking vascular tissues. They include the mosses, th..

    Pollution in Freshwater Ecosystems
    Pollution in Freshwater Ecosystems

    There are many environmental factors that arise due to the usage of water in one way or another and for every action tha..