Interaction of p-benzoquinone with hemoglobin in smoker’s blood causes alteration of structure and loss of oxygen binding capacity
Arunava Ghosh, Santanu Banerjee, Amrita Mitra, Monita Muralidharan, Bappaditya Roy, Rajat Banerjee, Amit Kumar Mandal, Indu B. Chatterjee
Cigarette smoke (CS) is an important source of morbidity and early mortality worldwide. Besides causing various life-threatening diseases, CS is also known to cause hypoxia. Chronic hypoxia would induce early aging and premature death. Continuation of smoking during pregnancy is a known risk for the unborn child. Although carbon monoxide (CO) is considered to be a cause of hypoxia, the effect of other component(s) of CS on hypoxia is not known. Here we show by immunoblots and mass spectra analyses that in smoker’s blood p-benzoquinone (p-BQ) derived from CS forms covalent adducts with cysteine 93 residues in both the β chains of hemoglobin (Hb) producing Hb-p-BQ adducts. UV–vis spectra and CD spectra analyses show that upon complexation with p-BQ the structure of Hb is altered. Compared to nonsmoker’s Hb, the content of α-helix decreased significantly in smoker’s Hb (p = 0.0224). p-BQ also induces aggregation of smoker’s Hb as demonstrated by SDS-PAGE, dynamic light scattering and atomic force microscopy. Alteration of Hb structure in smoker’s blood is accompanied by reduced oxygen binding capacity. Our results provide the first proof that p-BQ is a cause of hypoxia in smokers. We also show that although both p-BQ and CO are responsible for causing hypoxia in smokers, exposure to CO further affects the function over and above that produced by Hb-p-BQ adduct.
Circular dichroism, Ligand binding, Secondary structure, Toxicology, Biochemistry