Structure of the haptoglobin-haemoglobin complex.
ABSTRACT Red cell haemoglobin is the fundamental oxygen-transporting molecule in blood, but also a potentially tissue-damaging compound owing to its highly reactive haem groups. During intravascular haemolysis, such as in malaria and haemoglobinopathies, haemoglobin is released into the plasma, where it is captured by the protective acute-phase protein haptoglobin. This leads to formation of the haptoglobin-haemoglobin complex, which represents a virtually irreversible non-covalent protein-protein interaction. Here we present the crystal structure of the dimeric porcine haptoglobin-haemoglobin complex determined at 2.9 Å resolution. This structure reveals that haptoglobin molecules dimerize through an unexpected β-strand swap between two complement control protein (CCP) domains, defining a new fusion CCP domain structure. The haptoglobin serine protease domain forms extensive interactions with both the α- and β-subunits of haemoglobin, explaining the tight binding between haptoglobin and haemoglobin. The haemoglobin-interacting region in the αβ dimer is highly overlapping with the interface between the two αβ dimers that constitute the native haemoglobin tetramer. Several haemoglobin residues prone to oxidative modification after exposure to haem-induced reactive oxygen species are buried in the haptoglobin-haemoglobin interface, thus showing a direct protective role of haptoglobin. The haptoglobin loop previously shown to be essential for binding of haptoglobin-haemoglobin to the macrophage scavenger receptor CD163 (ref. 3) protrudes from the surface of the distal end of the complex, adjacent to the associated haemoglobin α-subunit. Small-angle X-ray scattering measurements of human haptoglobin-haemoglobin bound to the ligand-binding fragment of CD163 confirm receptor binding in this area, and show that the rigid dimeric complex can bind two receptors. Such receptor cross-linkage may facilitate scavenging and explain the increased functional affinity of multimeric haptoglobin-haemoglobin for CD163 (ref. 4).
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ABSTRACT: Hemolysis, which occurs in many disease states, can trigger a diverse pathophysiologic cascade that is related to the specific biochemical activities of free Hb and its porphyrin component heme. Normal erythropoiesis and concomitant removal of senescent red blood cells (RBC) from the circulation occurs at rates of approximately 2 × 10(6) RBCs/second. Within this physiologic range of RBC turnover, a small fraction of hemoglobin (Hb) is released into plasma as free extracellular Hb. In humans, there is an efficient multicomponent system of Hb sequestration, oxidative neutralization and clearance. Haptoglobin (Hp) is the primary Hb-binding protein in human plasma, which attenuates the adverse biochemical and physiologic effects of extracellular Hb. The cellular receptor target of Hp is the monocyte/macrophage scavenger receptor, CD163. Following Hb-Hp binding to CD163, cellular internalization of the complex leads to globin and heme metabolism, which is followed by adaptive changes in antioxidant and iron metabolism pathways and macrophage phenotype polarization. When Hb is released from RBCs within the physiologic range of Hp, the potential deleterious effects of Hb are prevented. However, during hyper-hemolytic conditions or with chronic hemolysis, Hp is depleted and Hb readily distributes to tissues where it might be exposed to oxidative conditions. In such conditions, heme can be released from ferric Hb. The free heme can then accelerate tissue damage by promoting peroxidative reactions and activation of inflammatory cascades. Hemopexin (Hx) is another plasma glycoprotein able to bind heme with high affinity. Hx sequesters heme in an inert, non-toxic form and transports it to the liver for catabolism and excretion. In the present review we discuss the components of physiologic Hb/heme detoxification and their potential therapeutic application in a wide range of hemolytic conditions.Frontiers in physiology. 01/2014; 5:415.
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ABSTRACT: Haptoglobin (Hp) prevents hemoglobin (Hb) extravasation and attenuates Hb induced tissue oxidation and vasoconstriction. Small animal models such as mouse, rat and guinea pig appear to demonstrate proof-of-concept for Hb neutralization by Hp in diverse pre-clinical conditions. However, these species differ significantly from humans in the clearance of Hb:Hp and demonstrate long persistence of circulating Hb:Hp complexes.Frontiers in physiology. 01/2014; 5:385.
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ABSTRACT: For decades plaque neovascularization was considered as an innocent feature of advanced atherosclerotic lesions, but nowadays growing evidence suggest that this process triggers plaque progression and vulnerability. Neovascularization is induced mostly by hypoxia, but the involvement of oxidative stress is also established. Because of inappropriate angiogenesis, neovessels are leaky and prone to rupture, leading to the extravasation of red blood cells (RBCs) within the plaque. RBCs, in the highly oxidative environment of the atherosclerotic lesions, tend to lyse quickly. Both RBC membrane and the released hemoglobin (Hb) possess atherogenic activities. Cholesterol content of RBC membrane contributes to lipid deposition and lipid core expansion upon intraplaque hemorrhage. Cell-free Hb is prone to oxidation, and the oxidation products possess pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory activities. Defense and adaptation mechanisms evolved to cope with the deleterious effects of cell free Hb and heme. These rely on plasma proteins haptoglobin (Hp) and hemopexin (Hx) with the ability to scavenge and eliminate free Hb and heme form the circulation. The protective strategy is completed with the cellular heme oxygenase-1/ferritin system that becomes activated when Hp and Hx fail to control free Hb and heme-mediated stress. These protective molecules have pharmacological potential in diverse pathologies including atherosclerosis.Frontiers in physiology. 01/2014; 5:379.