Time resolved absorption study of the reaction of hydroxyurea with sickle cell hemoglobin

Daniel B. Kim-Shapiro, S. Bruce King, Challice L. Bonifant, Christopher P. Kolibash, Samir K. Ballas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hydroxyurea has been mixed with hemoglobin S and the reaction was studied using electronic absorption spectroscopy as a function of time and wavelength. The rate of conversion of oxyhemoglobin S to other species was determined and the nature of the reaction products was studied. We also report the formation of methemoglobin (and other reaction products) when deoxyhemoglobin S is combined with hydroxyurea. The probable increase in the formation of methemoglobin, and other potential reaction products such as nitric oxide-hemoglobin, in patients with sickle cell anemia who are taking hydroxyurea as a therapeutic drug is discussed in terms of the pathophysiology of the disease. It is proposed that methemoglobin and possibly nitric oxide-hemoglobin formation may partially explain beneficial effects observed in these patients before their levels of fetal hemoglobin have increased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-74
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 12 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydroxyurea
  • Methemoglobin
  • Nitric oxide
  • Sickle cell hemoglobin
  • Time resolved absorption spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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