Kinetics and Mechanism of the Oxidation of Human deoxyHemoglobin by Nitrites
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The reactions of human hemoglobin with sodium nitrite and ethyl nitrite in deoxygenated media have been examined in kinetic detail. Nitrous acid has been identified from kinetic pH dependence studies as the principal oxidant of hemoglobin in reactions with sodium nitrite. Nitrosylhemoglobin is produced concurrently with methemoglobin as a result of reductive release of nitric oxide from nitrous acid. However, oxidation of hemoglobin by nitric oxide competes with association, and this process is proposed to arise from the action of the nitric oxide dimer on hemoglobin. Ethyl nitrite, which serves as a model for nitrous acid, reacts with hemoglobin at rates that are at least 10 times slower than those extrapolated for nitrous acid, and hydrolysis of the alkyl nitrite is not competitive with oxidation of hemoglobin. The composite experimental results are interpreted to describe alkyl nitrite, and, presumably, nitrous acid association with hemoglobin followed by rate-limiting electron transfer resulting in nitric oxide and alkoxide (or hydroxide) production. Proton transfer resulting in alcohol (or water) formation occurs subsequent to the rate-limiting step as do reactions of hemoglobin with nitric oxide.
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