Structural Effects in Alkyl Nitrite Oxidation of Human Hemoglobin
Oxidations of hemoglobin in oxygen-saturated and deoxygenated media by 10 structurally variant alkyl nitrites have been examined in kinetic detail. Pronounced structural influences on rate constants, whose values span a range of 80 in oxidations of both oxy- and deoxyhemoglobin, have been observed. tert-Butyl nitrite provides the slowest oxidation rate that for deoxyhemoglobin terminates after only half of the available iron(II) heme units have been oxidized. Activation parameters have been determined for oxidations of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin by ethyl, isopropyl, and neopentyl nitrites from kinetic evaluation of these reactions as a function of temperature, The differences in free energies of activation (ΔG) between hemoglobin R and T states range from 1.8 to 2.9 kcal/mol for the three alkyl nitrites examined. The composite data portray alkyl nitrite oxidations as inner sphere electron transfer processes whose kinetic characteristics reflect the ligand binding properties of hemoglobin. A sulfhydryl-induced alkyl nitrite oxidation of oxyhemoglobin that is most pronounced in oxygen-saturated media has been observed, and its cause has been traced to nitrosyl exchange of alkyl nitrites with the β-93 cysteine sulfhydryl group of hemoglobin.