Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892



Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

Explain the role of hemoglobin in gas exchange.

Summary Introduction

To review:

The role of hemoglobin in gaseous exchange.


The word hemoglobin is composed of two words. The word ‘heme’ means red and the word globin means proteins, so it is also referred to as red proteins. Its components are incorporated with four subunits, each contains an iron atom bound to a heme group. The function of hemoglobin is to carry oxygenated blood throughout the whole body. It is found in all vertebrate animals and in tissues of some invertebrates.


The process of respiration starts from mouth and finally reaches to the lungs through respiratory tract. Hemoglobin is considered as an intracellular protein, which transport 97% of oxygen in the blood and remaining 3% by plasma. In the plasma, oxygen diffuses into erythrocytes where it combines with hemoglobin and this combination of hemoglobin removes O2 from plasma, which lowers Po2 from the plasma membrane and allows O2 molecules to diffuse from alveolar air to the blood.

The partial pressure of oxygen remains high so oxygen readily binds to the hemoglobin at the alveolar-capillary surface in the lungs. In the presence of lower oxygen partial pressure, the hemoglobin cannot maintain its full bound capacity of oxygen so, it releases the oxygen into the tissue when the partial pressure of oxygen is less...

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