What happens to hemoglobin S (HbS) under deoxy conditions?

Updated: May 12, 2021
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Under deoxy conditions, HbS undergoes marked decrease in solubility, increased viscosity, and polymer formation at concentrations exceeding 30 g/dL. It forms a gel-like substance containing Hb crystals called tactoids. The gel-like form of Hb is in equilibrium with its liquid-soluble form. A number of factors influence this equilibrium, including oxygen tension, concentration of Hb S, and the presence of other hemoglobins.


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