Inhibition of the gelation of extracellular and intracellular hemoglobin S by selective acetylation with methyl acetyl phosphate.Biochemistry. 1987 Jun 02; 26(11):3125-9.B
Methyl acetyl phosphate binds to the 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) binding site of hemoglobin and selectively acetylates three amino groups at or near that site. The subsequent binding of 2,3-DPG is thus impeded. When intact sickle cells are exposed to methyl acetyl phosphate, their abnormally high density under anaerobic conditions is reduced to the density range of oxygenated, nonsickling erythrocytes. This change is probably due to a combination of direct and indirect effects induced by the specific acetylation. The direct effect is on the solubility of deoxyhemoglobin S, which is increased from 17 g/dL for unmodified hemoglobin S to 22 g/dL for acetylated hemoglobin S at pH 6.8. Acetylated hemoglobin S does not gel at pH 7.4, up to a concentration of 32 g/dL. The indirect effect could be due to the decreased binding of 2,3-DPG to deoxyhemoglobin S within the sickle erythrocyte, thus hindering the conversion of oxyhemoglobin S to the gelling form, deoxyhemoglobin S.