Hemoglobin Switching in Sheep and Goats: Occurrence of Hemoglobins A and C in the Same Red Cell

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Science  13 Sep 1974:
Vol. 185, Issue 4155, pp. 946-948
DOI: 10.1126/science.185.4155.946


Sheep and goats switch from the synthesis of hemoglobin A (α2β2A) to hemoglobin C (α2β2C) when made anemic. We have demonstrated the existence of the asymmetrical hybrid hemoglobin, α2βAβC, in the circulating red cells of anemic sheep. These erythroid cells, therefore, synthesized both A and C hemoglobin simultaneously. Thus, the switch appears to be mediated by selective gene expression rather than by a clonal or cellular selective mechanism.