Summary: A non-heme iron protein consisting of eight apparently identical subunits each containing 2 iron atoms. It binds one molecule of oxygen per pair of iron atoms and functions as a respiratory protein.

Top Publications

  1. Kurtz D. Oxygen-carrying proteins: three solutions to a common problem. Essays Biochem. 1999;34:85-100 pubmed
    ..Detailed comparisons of these protein/enzyme pairs are likely to clarify the factors that tune the delicate balance between reversible O2 binding and controlled O-O bond cleavage. ..
  2. Terwilliger N. Functional adaptations of oxygen-transport proteins. J Exp Biol. 1998;201:1085-98 pubmed
    ..Understanding the mechanisms of regulation of expression, synthesis and modulator levels is a key focus of current investigations. ..
  3. Vanin S, Negrisolo E, Bailly X, Bubacco L, Beltramini M, Salvato B. Molecular evolution and phylogeny of sipunculan hemerythrins. J Mol Evol. 2006;62:32-41 pubmed
    We sequenced seven new hemerythrin (Hr) and myohemerythrin (myoHr) cDNAs from Sipunculus nudus and Golfingia vulgaris vulgaris, thus providing new comparative data that significantly increase the set of the known Hr and myoHr sequences...
  4. Vergote D, Sautiere P, Vandenbulcke F, Vieau D, Mitta G, Macagno E, et al. Up-regulation of neurohemerythrin expression in the central nervous system of the medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, following septic injury. J Biol Chem. 2004;279:43828-37 pubmed
    ..through a combination of Edman degradation, mass spectrometry, and molecular cloning, as a novel member of the hemerythrin family, a group of non-heme-iron oxygen transport proteins found in four invertebrate phyla: sipunculids, ..
  5. French C, Bell J, Ward F. Diversity and distribution of hemerythrin-like proteins in prokaryotes. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2008;279:131-45 pubmed
    ..The recent profusion of prokaryotic genomic sequence data has shown that proteins bearing hemerythrin motifs are present in a wide variety of bacteria, and a few archaea...
  6. Coulter E, Shenvi N, Kurtz D. NADH peroxidase activity of rubrerythrin. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999;255:317-23 pubmed
    ..Rubrerythrins could, thus, function as the terminal components of NADH peroxidases in air-sensitive bacteria and archaea. ..
  7. Nejmeddine A, Wouters Tyrou D, Baert J, Sautiere P. Primary structure of a myohemerythrin-like cadmium-binding protein, isolated from a terrestrial annelid oligochaete. C R Acad Sci III. 1997;320:459-68 pubmed
    ..To our knowledge, it is the first report of a protein belonging to the hemerythrin family in a terrestrial invertebrate.
  8. Raner G, Martins L, Ellis W. Functional role of leucine-103 in myohemerythrin. Biochemistry. 1997;36:7037-43 pubmed
    ..In addition, the L103N Mhr displays unusually rapid reduction kinetics, suggesting that the amide functionality of Asn-103 destabilizes most bound ligands and additionally promotes rapid semi-metR <==> semi-metO isomerization. ..
  9. Nocek J, Kurtz D, Sage J, Xia Y, Debrunner P, Shiemke A, et al. Nitric oxide adducts of the binuclear iron site of hemerythrin: spectroscopy and reactivity. Biochemistry. 1988;27:1014-24 pubmed
    Nitric oxide forms adducts with the binuclear iron site of hemerythrin (Hr) at [Fe(II),Fe(II)]deoxy and [Fe(II),Fe(III)]semimet oxidation levels...

More Information


  1. LeGall J, Prickril B, Moura I, Xavier A, Moura J, Huynh B. Isolation and characterization of rubrerythrin, a non-heme iron protein from Desulfovibrio vulgaris that contains rubredoxin centers and a hemerythrin-like binuclear iron cluster. Biochemistry. 1988;27:1636-42 pubmed
    ..Another unusual feature of this protein is the presence of the Hr-like iron atoms.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)..
  2. Pinto A, Todorovic S, Hildebrandt P, Yamazaki M, Amano F, Igimi S, et al. Desulforubrerythrin from Campylobacter jejuni, a novel multidomain protein. J Biol Inorg Chem. 2011;16:501-10 pubmed publisher
    ..Owing to its building blocks and its homology to the rubrerythrin family, the protein is named desulforubrerythrin. It represents a novel example of the large diversity of the organization of domains exhibited by this enzyme family. ..
  3. Uchida T, Yano H, Satake K, Kubota I, Tsugita A. The amino acid sequence of hemerythrin from Siphonosoma cumanense. Protein Seq Data Anal. 1990;3:141-7 pubmed
    The amino acid sequence of hemerythrin from Siphonosoma cumanense was determined. The sequence consists of 113 amino acid residues...
  4. Mishra S, Imlay J. Why do bacteria use so many enzymes to scavenge hydrogen peroxide?. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2012;525:145-60 pubmed publisher
    ..It is hoped that the resolution of these issues will lead to an understanding of stress resistance that is more accurate and perceptive. ..
  5. Chollangi S, Thompson J, Ruiz J, Gardner K, Bruick R. Hemerythrin-like domain within F-box and leucine-rich repeat protein 5 (FBXL5) communicates cellular iron and oxygen availability by distinct mechanisms. J Biol Chem. 2012;287:23710-7 pubmed publisher
    ..FBXL5 contains a hemerythrin-like (Hr) domain at its N terminus that mediates its own differential stability...
  6. Perez Gil J, Keough K. Identical and similar amino acid sequences in the pulmonary surfactant proteins SP-B and SP-C and hemerythrin and myohemerythrin--an example of "biochemical Velcro"?. Biochem Int. 1991;25:715-21 pubmed
    A remarkable sequence similarity has been found in the N-terminal regions of hemerythrin, myohemerythrin and the pulmonary surfactant protein, SP-B...
  7. Shin H, Cho M, Jung S, Kim H, Park S, Kim H, et al. Molecular cloning and characterization of a gene encoding a 13.1 kDa antigenic protein of Naegleria fowleri. J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2001;48:713-7 pubmed
    ..The present nfal gene encoding the myoHr-like protein is the first myoHr gene cloned from protozoa, and the Nfal antigen may be useful in diagnostic studies..
  8. Sztukowska M, Bugno M, Potempa J, Travis J, Kurtz D. Role of rubrerythrin in the oxidative stress response of Porphyromonas gingivalis. Mol Microbiol. 2002;44:479-88 pubmed
    ..Porphyromonas gingivalis contains a superoxide dismutase but lacks catalase and haem peroxidases. We therefore suggest that rubrerythrin provides oxidative stress protection via catalytic reduction of intracellular hydrogen peroxide. ..
  9. Kao W, Wang V, Huang Y, Yu S, Chang T, Chan S. Isolation, purification and characterization of hemerythrin from Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath). J Inorg Biochem. 2008;102:1607-14 pubmed publisher
    Earlier work from our laboratory has indicated that a hemerythrin-like protein was over-produced together with the particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) when Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath) was grown under high copper concentrations...
  10. Coutte L, Slomianny M, Malecha J, Baert J. Cloning and expression analysis of a cDNA that encodes a leech hemerythrin. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001;1518:282-6 pubmed
    We report the cDNA sequence of a leech hemerythrin. A cDNA was isolated from a Theromyzon tessulatum cDNA library and encodes a 120 amino acid protein of about 14 kDa...
  11. Lumppio H, Shenvi N, Summers A, Voordouw G, Kurtz D. Rubrerythrin and rubredoxin oxidoreductase in Desulfovibrio vulgaris: a novel oxidative stress protection system. J Bacteriol. 2001;183:101-8 pubmed publisher
    ..A joint role for Rbo and Rbr as a novel cytoplasmic oxidative stress protection system in D. vulgaris and other anaerobic microorganisms is proposed...
  12. Deloffre L, Salzet B, Vieau D, Andries J, Salzet M. Antibacterial properties of hemerythrin of the sand worm Nereis diversicolor. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2003;24:39-45 pubmed
    ..To investigate the immune defense of the annelid Nereis diversicolor and the key role of a oxygen-binding protein, the metalloprotein MPII animals were subjected to bacteria infection...
  13. Farmer C, Kurtz D, Phillips R, Ai J, Sanders Loehr J. A leucine residue "Gates" solvent but not O2 access to the binding pocket of phascolopsis gouldii hemerythrin. J Biol Chem. 2000;275:17043-50 pubmed
    ..Leu-98 in recombinant Phascolopsis gouldii hemerythrin, was mutated to several other residues of varying sizes (Ala, Val), polarities (Thr, Asp, Asn), and ..
  14. Zhang J, Kurtz D. Metal substitutions at the diiron sites of hemerythrin and myohemerythrin: contributions of divalent metals to stability of a four-helix bundle protein. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992;89:7065-9 pubmed
    A general method is described for substitution of Mn(II) and Co(II) into the diiron sites of hemerythrin and myohemerythrin...
  15. Demuynck S, Bocquet Muchembled B, Deloffre L, Grumiaux F, Leprêtre A. Stimulation by cadmium of myohemerythrin-like cells in the gut of the annelid Nereis diversicolor. J Exp Biol. 2004;207:1101-11 pubmed
    ..This mechanism of regulation is quite similar to that reported in the case of mammalian ferritin and may be involved in the regulation of Cd levels in this worm. ..
  16. Baert J, Britel M, Sautiere P, Malecha J. Ovohemerythrin, a major 14-kDa yolk protein distinct from vitellogenin in leech. Eur J Biochem. 1992;209:563-9 pubmed
    ..However, a strong resemblance between this protein and sipunculid hemerythrin, a non-heme iron-binding protein, was observed on the basis of its characteristics including molecular mass, ..
  17. Demuynck S, Li K, Van der Schors R, Dhainaut Courtois N. Amino acid sequence of the small cadmium-binding protein (MP II) from Nereis diversicolor (annelida, polychaeta). Evidence for a myohemerythrin structure. Eur J Biochem. 1993;217:151-6 pubmed
  18. Karlsen O, Ramsevik L, Bruseth L, Larsen Ø, Brenner A, Berven F, et al. Characterization of a prokaryotic haemerythrin from the methanotrophic bacterium Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath). FEBS J. 2005;272:2428-40 pubmed
    ..A comprehensive genomic database search revealed 21 different prokaryotes containing the haemerythrin signature (PROSITE 00550), indicating that these putative haemerythrins may be a conserved prokaryotic subfamily...
  19. Traverso M, Subramanian P, Davydov R, Hoffman B, Stemmler T, Rosenzweig A. Identification of a hemerythrin-like domain in a P1B-type transport ATPase. Biochemistry. 2010;49:7060-8 pubmed publisher
    ..which the substrate has not been identified, led to the discovery of a C-terminal soluble domain homologous to hemerythrin (Hr) proteins and domains...
  20. Isaza C, Silaghi Dumitrescu R, Iyer R, Kurtz D, Chan M. Structural basis for O2 sensing by the hemerythrin-like domain of a bacterial chemotaxis protein: substrate tunnel and fluxional N terminus. Biochemistry. 2006;45:9023-31 pubmed publisher
    ..protein, DcrH, from the anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacterium, Desulfovibrio vulgaris (Hildenborough), has a hemerythrin-like domain, DcrH-Hr, at its C terminus...
  21. Weinberg M, Jenney F, Cui X, Adams M. Rubrerythrin from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus is a rubredoxin-dependent, iron-containing peroxidase. J Bacteriol. 2004;186:7888-95 pubmed
    ..Rubrerythrin is proposed to play a role in the recently defined anaerobic detoxification pathway for reactive oxygen species. ..
  22. Ricci Silva M, Konno K, Faria F, Radis Baptista G, Fontes W, Stocklin R, et al. Protein mapping of the salivary complex from a hematophagous leech. OMICS. 2005;9:194-208 pubmed
    ..Furthermore, by zymography, a gelatinolytic and a fibrinolytic protein were identified. ..
  23. Chen K, Wu H, Ke S, Rao Y, Tu C, Chen Y, et al. Bacteriohemerythrin bolsters the activity of the particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) in Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath). J Inorg Biochem. 2012;111:10-7 pubmed publisher
  24. Okamoto Y, Onoda A, Sugimoto H, Takano Y, Hirota S, Kurtz D, et al. Crystal structure, exogenous ligand binding, and redox properties of an engineered diiron active site in a bacterial hemerythrin. Inorg Chem. 2013;52:13014-20 pubmed publisher
    A nonheme diiron active site in a 13 kDa hemerythrin-like domain of the bacterial chemotaxis protein DcrH-Hr contains an oxo bridge, two bridging carboxylate groups from Glu and Asp residues, and five terminally ligated His residues...
  25. Bailly X, Vanin S, Chabasse C, Mizuguchi K, Vinogradov S. A phylogenomic profile of hemerythrins, the nonheme diiron binding respiratory proteins. BMC Evol Biol. 2008;8:244 pubmed publisher
    ..Although Hrs evolved to function as O2 transporters in brachiopods, priapulids and sipunculans, their function in annelids remains to be elucidated. Overall Hrs exhibit a considerable lack of evolutionary success in metazoans. ..
  26. Farmer C, Kurtz D, Liu Z, Wang B, Rose J, Ai J, et al. The crystal structures of Phascolopsis gouldii wild type and L98Y methemerythrins: structural and functional alterations of the O2 binding pocket. J Biol Inorg Chem. 2001;6:418-29 pubmed
    ..1-A resolution). The L98Y hemerythrin (Hr) has a greatly enhanced O2 affinity, a slower O2 dissociation rate, a larger solvent deuterium isotope ..
  27. Xiong J, Kurtz D, Ai J, Sanders Loehr J. A hemerythrin-like domain in a bacterial chemotaxis protein. Biochemistry. 2000;39:5117-25 pubmed
    b>Hemerythrin (Hr) is an O(2)-carrying protein found in some marine invertebrates...
  28. Schaller R, Ali S, Klose K, Kurtz D. A bacterial hemerythrin domain regulates the activity of a Vibrio cholerae diguanylate cyclase. Biochemistry. 2012;51:8563-70 pubmed publisher
    The first demonstrated example of a regulatory function for a bacterial hemerythrin (Bhr) domain is reported...
  29. Vashisht A, Zumbrennen K, Huang X, Powers D, Durazo A, Sun D, et al. Control of iron homeostasis by an iron-regulated ubiquitin ligase. Science. 2009;326:718-21 pubmed publisher
    ..adaptor protein FBXL5 was degraded upon iron and oxygen depletion in a process that required an iron-binding hemerythrin-like domain in its N terminus...
  30. Salahudeen A, Thompson J, Ruiz J, Ma H, Kinch L, Li Q, et al. An E3 ligase possessing an iron-responsive hemerythrin domain is a regulator of iron homeostasis. Science. 2009;326:722-6 pubmed publisher
    ..FBXL5 contains an iron- and oxygen-binding hemerythrin domain that acted as a ligand-dependent regulatory switch mediating FBXL5's differential stability...
  31. Meyer A, Lieb B. Respiratory proteins in Sipunculus nudus--implications for phylogeny and evolution of the hemerythrin family. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2010;155:171-7 pubmed publisher
    Three major classes of respiratory proteins are known, hemoglobin, molluscan and arthropod hemocyanin, and hemerythrin (Hr)...
  32. Takagi T, Cox J. Primary structure of myohemerythrin from the annelid Nereis diversicolor. FEBS Lett. 1991;285:25-7 pubmed
    ..Within the family of hemerythrins, homology is particularly high in the segments involved in the binding of the two iron atoms and in the beta-turn-rich N-terminal segment. ..
  33. Padmaja N, Rajaram H, Apte S. A novel hemerythrin DNase from the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC7120. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2011;505:171-7 pubmed publisher
    ..such as (1) no homology to typical DNases (2) a Ca²(+)-dependent Nickase activity (3) presence of a di-hemerythrin domain, and (4) requirement of Fe²(+) conjugated to hemerythrin domains for optimal activity...
  34. Coulter E, Kurtz D. A role for rubredoxin in oxidative stress protection in Desulfovibrio vulgaris: catalytic electron transfer to rubrerythrin and two-iron superoxide reductase. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2001;394:76-86 pubmed
    ..vulgaris to rubrerythrin and superoxide reductase, thereby simultaneously protecting autoxidizable redox enzymes and lowering intracellular hydrogen peroxide and superoxide levels...
  35. Strand K, Sun C, Li T, Jenney F, Schut G, Adams M. Oxidative stress protection and the repair response to hydrogen peroxide in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus and in related species. Arch Microbiol. 2010;192:447-59 pubmed publisher
    ..Related hyperthermophiles contain homologs of the proteins involved in the constitutive protective mechanism but these organisms were more sensitive to peroxide than P. furiosus and lack several of its peroxide-responsive ORFs...
  36. Niwa J, Sobue G. [Neurodegenerative diseases and Dorfin]. No To Shinkei. 2003;55:856-68 pubmed
  37. Wakagi T. Sulerythrin, the smallest member of the rubrerythrin family, from a strictly aerobic and thermoacidophilic archaeon, Sulfolobus tokodaii strain 7. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003;222:33-7 pubmed
    ..The protein was homologous to rubrerythrin but lacked a C-terminal rubredoxin domain. It was found in the genus Sulfolobus and therefore named sulerythrin; it is the smallest and first aerobic member of the rubrerythrin family...
  38. Ku J, Schultz P. Alternate protein frameworks for molecular recognition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995;92:6552-6 pubmed
    ..These and other antibody-like receptors may prove useful as therapeutic agents or as reagents for both intra- and extracellular studies. ..
  39. Dyson H, Rance M, Houghten R, Wright P, Lerner R. Folding of immunogenic peptide fragments of proteins in water solution. II. The nascent helix. J Mol Biol. 1988;201:201-17 pubmed
    ..The possible role of nascent secondary structure in induction of antipeptide antibodies and in initiation of protein folding is discussed. ..
  40. Chou K, Zheng C. Strong electrostatic loop-helix interactions in bundle motif protein structures. Biophys J. 1992;63:682-8 pubmed
    ..The calculated results reported here provide, from a different point of view, insights that might be useful for revealing the essence of the driving forces during the folding of proteins. ..
  41. Zhang J, Kurtz D. Two distinct subunits of hemerythrin from the brachiopod Lingula reevii: an apparent requirement for cooperativity in O2 binding. Biochemistry. 1991;30:9121-5 pubmed
    Reported are results on the subunit composition of octameric hemerythrin (Hr) from the brachiopod Lingula reevii. Unlike most other Hrs, L. reevii Hr shows cooperativity in O2 binding. Purified L...
  42. Spangler B. Binding to native proteins by antipeptide monoclonal antibodies. J Immunol. 1991;146:1591-5 pubmed
    ..A re-evaluation of binding data that relates antipeptide mAb to native structural characteristics may be necessary. ..
  43. Lavalette D, Tetreau C, Brochon J, Livesey A. Conformational fluctuations and protein reactivity. Determination of the rate-constant spectrum and consequences in elementary biochemical processes. Eur J Biochem. 1991;196:591-8 pubmed
    ..flash photolysis investigations of liganded hemoproteins and more recently of the non-heme respiratory protein hemerythrin in hydro-organic solvents...
  44. Van Regenmortel M, Daney de Marcillac G. An assessment of prediction methods for locating continuous epitopes in proteins. Immunol Lett. 1988;17:95-107 pubmed
    ..A chi 2 statistical analysis showed that a segmental mobility scale and a hydrophilicity scale based on peptide retention times during chromatography gave the highest level of correct predictions. ..
  45. Kuriyan J, Brunger A, Karplus M, Hendrickson W. X-ray refinement of protein structures by simulated annealing: test of the method on myohemerythrin. Acta Crystallogr A. 1989;45 ( Pt 6):396-409 pubmed
    ..The general utility of the simulated annealing methodology in X-ray refinement is discussed. ..
  46. Robitaille P, Kurtz D. 31P NMR probes of sipunculan erythrocytes containing the O2-carrying protein hemerythrin. Biochemistry. 1988;27:4458-65 pubmed
    Reported are the first examinations by 31P NMR of erythrocytes containing the non-heme iron O2-carrying protein hemerythrin (Hr)...
  47. Friesner R, Gunn J. Computational studies of protein folding. Annu Rev Biophys Biomol Struct. 1996;25:315-42 pubmed
    ..The results indicate that significant progress is being made in understanding the requirements for computational prediction of protein structure. ..
  48. Harrison P, Hempstead P, Artymiuk P, Andrews S. Structure-function relationships in the ferritins. Met Ions Biol Syst. 1998;35:435-77 pubmed
  49. Craig L, Sanschagrin P, Rozek A, Lackie S, Kuhn L, Scott J. The role of structure in antibody cross-reactivity between peptides and folded proteins. J Mol Biol. 1998;281:183-201 pubmed
    ..Our strategy for identifying conformationally biased epitope sequences provides a new approach to the design of epitope-targeted, peptide-based vaccines. ..
  50. Paliakasis C, Kokkinidis M. Relationships between sequence and structure for the four-alpha-helix bundle tertiary motif in proteins. Protein Eng. 1992;5:739-48 pubmed
    ..Possible applications of this analysis in structure predictions, sequence alignments and in the rational design and engineering of four-alpha-helical bundle proteins are discussed. ..
  51. Ruan L, Bian X, Wang X, Yan X, Li F, Xu X. Molecular characteristics of the tubeworm, Ridgeia piscesae, from the deep-sea hydrothermal vent. Extremophiles. 2008;12:735-9 pubmed publisher
    ..The gene-expression profile might help to further understand the molecular basis of tubeworm physiology. It will also lay a good foundation for functional studies on the adaptation to extreme environments. ..
  52. Wirstam M, Lippard S, Friesner R. Reversible dioxygen binding to hemerythrin. J Am Chem Soc. 2003;125:3980-7 pubmed
    ..QSite) is used to determine the different energetic components involved in reversible binding of O(2) to hemerythrin. The use of an accurate quantum chemical description of the active site and the inclusion of effects from the ..
  53. Strube K, de Vries S, Cramm R. Formation of a dinitrosyl iron complex by NorA, a nitric oxide-binding di-iron protein from Ralstonia eutropha H16. J Biol Chem. 2007;282:20292-300 pubmed
    ..NorA shows limited sequence similarity to the oxygen carrier hemerythrin, which contains a di-iron center...