Functional aspects of hemoglobin evolution in the mammals

A. F. Scott, H. F. Bunn, A. H. Brush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Comparative studies of red cell 2,3 Diphosphoglycerate (DPG) and its effect on hemoglobin oxygen affinity from a taxonomically diverse set of mammals indicate two anomalous groups: members of the superfamilies Bovoidea (Actiodactyla) and Feloidea (Carnivora). In both taxa all of the individuals assayed had very low or unmeasurable quantities of DPG and red cell lysates with little, if any, DPG effect as measured by the change in oxygen affinity in the absence and presence of the phosphate. However, in both groups compensatory changes have occurred in hemoglobin structure and function so as to reduce the native oxygen affinity and thus cause them to resemble the hemoglobins of DPG-utilizing mammals as they occur in the setting of the red cell. We conclude that this parallelism of function is the result of convergent evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1976


  • 2,3 Diphosphoglycerate (DPG)
  • Hemoglobin
  • Mammals
  • Molecular Evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Functional aspects of hemoglobin evolution in the mammals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this