Hydration effects on the structural properties and haem-haem interaction in haemoglobin
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Direct and simultaneous measurements of hydration water content and protein conformation have been performed using quartz crystal microbalance and visible absorption spectroscopy. Equilibrium and kinetics of methaemoglobin/haemichrome transition induced by the alteration of the degree of hydration was investigated in thin films exposed to controlled humidity. The kinetics experiment show that the conversion of species achieve the equilibrium more rapidly that the amount of sorbed water by the protein. The transition shows a sigmoid behaviour and suggest cooperative phenomena manifested by haem-haem interaction. The water hydration network contributing to the haem haem interaction advise that water acts as allosteric effectors for the conversion between species. Irreversible changes produced by complete drying are clearly shown.