Comparative oxygen affinity of fish and mammalian myoglobins

J. W. Nichols, L. J. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Myoglobins from rat, coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), buffalo sculpin (Enophrys bison) hearts, and yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) red skeletal muscle were partially purified and their O2 binding affinities determined. Commercially prepared sperm whale myoglobin was employed as an internal standard. Tested at 20°C, myoglobins from salmon and sculpin bound O2 with lower affinity than myoglobins from the rat or sperm whale. Oxygen binding studies at 12°C and 37°C suggest that this difference is adaptive, permitting myoglobins from cold-adapted fish to function at physiologically relevant temperatures. Taken together, purification and O2 binding data obtained in this study reveal a previously unrecognized diversity of myoglobin structure and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-209
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology B
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1989


  • Fish
  • Myoglobin
  • Oxygen binding affinity


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