A Caltech Library Service

Biosynthetic studies of human fetal hemoglobin


Rogers, Christopher Bruce (1979) Biosynthetic studies of human fetal hemoglobin. Master's thesis, California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/9vhd-4p65.


Previous investigators have found unbalanced synthesis of Hb F, with γ chain synthesized from 30% to 68% as efficiently as α chain. In this report, biosynthetic studies of 9 umbilical cord bloods and 6 sickle-cell bloods with elevated levels of Hb F gave an efficiency of 47 ± 3% for γ-chain synthesis relative to α-chain synthesis. Amino acid analysis of the minor zones in chain separation chromatograms showed that two peaks, one eluting before and one after γ chain, contain products of γ-chain mRNA. These peaks, however, are insufficient to explain the discrepancy in γ-chain synthesis. A likely explanation for the reduced γ-chain synthesis is that γ-chain mRNA may have a shorter effective lifetime than α - or β-chain mRNA. There would thus be a progressive imbalance in Hb F synthesis after the blood cell leaves the bone marrow and mRNA synthesis stops. A timed study of a single cord blood, with times ranging from 2.5 minutes to 4 hours, showed that incorporation of radioactivity into acetylated γ chain begins at a high value and decreases with respect to unmodified γ chain. This implies that the γ chain may be modified either on the ribosome or shortly after release, but in any case earlier than 2.5 minutes after the start of incubation.

Item Type:Thesis (Master's thesis)
Subject Keywords:Chemistry
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemistry
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Unknown, Unknown
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:15 May 1979
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:04022010-090030827
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5677
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Apr 2010 22:41
Last Modified:19 Apr 2021 22:36

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page