The ligand rebinding kinetics after photolysis of the CO complexes of Arabidopsis thaliana hemoglobins AHb1 and AHb2 in solution show very different amplitudes in the geminate phase, reflecting different migration pathways of the photodissociated ligand in the system of internal cavities accessible from the heme. The dependence of the geminate phase on CO concentration, temperature, encapsulation in silica gels and presence of glycerol confirms a remarkable difference in the internal structure of the two proteins and a dramatically different role of protein dynamics in regulating the reactivity with CO. This finding strongly supports the idea that they have distinct physiological functions. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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