Heme Proteins
Iron containing Proteins

Author: Gianpiero Pescarmona
Date: 03/12/2009


A hemeprotein (or hemoprotein or haemoprotein), or heme protein, is a metalloprotein containing a heme prosthetic group, either covalently or noncovalently bound to the protein itself. The iron in the heme is capable of undergoing oxidation and reduction (usually to +2 and +3, though stabilized ferryl [Fe+4] compounds are well known in the peroxidases).


Hemoproteins have diverse biological functions including:

  • Oxygen transport
    o hemoglobin
    o hemocyanin
    o myoglobin
    o neuroglobin
    o cytoglobin
    o leghemoglobin
  • Catalysis
    o peroxidases
    o cytochrome c oxidase
    o ligninases
  • Active membrane transport
    o cytochromes
  • Electron transfer
    o cytochrome c
    o catalase
  • Sensory
    o FixL (Oxygen sensor)
    o sGC (Nitric Oxide sensor)
    o CooA (CO sensor)
  • Defence
    o vanabin
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