Use of protein database for the computation of the dipole moments of normal and abnormal hemoglobins

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Previously, we discussed the calculation of the dipole moments of small proteins using the three-dimensional protein data-base. Our results demonstrate that the calculated dipole moments are in acceptable agreement with measured values. We, however, noted the difficulty of the calculation with larger proteins, in particular those consisting of several subunits. Hemoglobin (Hb) is a protein having a molecular weight of 64,000 that consists of four subunits, a typical case where the computation was found to be difficult. To circumvent the difficulties, we calculated the dipole moment of each subunit separately. The dipole moment of the whole protein was calculated by the vectorial summation of subunit moments. With this method, the calculated net dipole moment is in good agreement with the experimental value. Our calculation shows that the dipole moment vectors of subunits are, by and large, antiparallel in tetramers causing partial cancellation of the net dipole moment. In addition to normal HbA, the dipole moment of abnormal HbS was calculated using an approximate computational technique. Because of the loss of two negative changes as a result of the replacement of glutamic acid with valine in beta-chains, the dipole moment of HbS was found, experimentally and theoretically, to be significantly smaller than that of HbA. © 1993, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.




Takashima, S. (1993). Use of protein database for the computation of the dipole moments of normal and abnormal hemoglobins. Biophysical Journal, 64(5), 1550–1558.

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