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Lampreys are primitive organisms whose ancestors diverged from the ancestors of fish and mammals approximately 400 million years ago. Lamprey blood contains a hemoglobin related to mammalian hemoglobin. However, lamprey hemoglobin is monomeric in the oxygenated state. Oxygen-binding data for lamprey hemoglobin are as follows:
(a) Plot these data to produce an oxygen-binding curve. At what oxygen partial pressure is this hemoglobin halfsaturated? On the basis of the appearance of this curve, does oxygen binding seem to be cooperative?
(b) Construct a Hill plot using these data. Does the Hill plot show any evidence for cooperativity? What is the Hill coefficient?
(c) Further studies revealed that lamprey hemoglobin forms oligomers, primarily dimers, in the deoxygenated state. Propose a model to explain any observed cooperativity in oxygen binding by lamprey hemoglobin.