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Chemistry LibreTexts

Sickle Cell Anemia

  • Page ID
    79354
  • The incorrect amino acid sequence in a protein may lead to fatal consequences. For example, the inherited disease, sickle cell anemia, results from a single incorrect amino acid at the 6th position of the beta - protein chain out of 146. Hemoglobin consists of four protein chains - two beta and two alpha.

    565sicklecell.gif

    See the graphic on the left for the sequences. This one alteration of the sequence of amino acids in hemoglobin changes its molecular geometry and hence its ability to carry oxygen and its solubility characteristics. The red blood cells change into a sickled shape instead of the normal round shape, become trapped in the small blood capillaries, and cause a great deal of pain.

     

    Quiz:Which type of hemoglobin is apparently more polar and soluble in water?
    Which type of hemoglobin is more non-polar and insoluble?