What is the full form of HB?

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HB Full Form is Haemoglobin. It is a remarkable protein present in red blood cells (erythrocytes) of most vertebrates and select invertebrates. Its primary function is to transport oxygen from the respiratory organs to body tissues, enabling aerobic respiration to power an animal’s metabolism. This blog dives into the world of hemoglobin, exploring its structure, functions, genetic variations, and crucial roles in various organisms.

Structure of Hemoglobin

Hemoglobin is a complex protein composed of four subunits, typically two alpha (α) and two beta (β) globin chains, arranged in a tetrahedral structure. Each subunit is further associated with a heme group, which contains an iron atom at its core. This iron atom is essential for oxygen binding and release.

Oxygen Transport

Hemoglobin’s primary role is oxygen transport. It binds oxygen in the lungs or gills, forming oxyhemoglobin, and releases it in oxygen-deprived tissues. This binding and release are governed by cooperativity, a process where one oxygen molecule’s binding influences the affinity of the remaining sites for oxygen. Hemoglobin’s sigmoidal oxygen-binding curve reflects this cooperative behavior.

Genetics of Hemoglobin

In humans, hemoglobin is encoded by several genes, including HBA1, HBA2, and HBB. These genes determine the structure and function of hemoglobin subunits. Mutations in these genes can lead to hemoglobinopathies, a group of hereditary diseases like sickle-cell disease and thalassemias.

Adaptations and Evolution

Hemoglobin has evolved differently in various species to adapt to their environments. For instance, high-altitude animals possess hemoglobin variants that enhance oxygen binding under low-oxygen conditions. Hemoglobin adaptations have played a crucial role in the survival of species in diverse habitats.

Beyond Oxygen Transport

Hemoglobin isn’t just an oxygen carrier; it also plays roles in transporting other gases like carbon dioxide and nitric oxide. Additionally, it is found in various tissues, where it absorbs excess oxygen, acts as an antioxidant, and regulates iron metabolism.

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