Document Detail

Functional properties of myoglobins from five whale species with different diving capacities.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22693033     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Whales show an exceptionally wide range of diving capabilities and many express high amounts of the O(2) carrier protein myoglobin (Mb) in their muscle tissues that prolongs their aerobic diving capacity. Although previous studies have mainly focused on the muscle Mb concentration and O(2) carrying capacity as markers of diving behavior in whales, it still remains unexplored whether whale Mbs differ in their O(2) affinities and in their enzymatic activities as nitrite reductase and peroxidase enzymes, all functions that could contribute to differences in diving capacities. In this study, we have measured the functional properties of purified Mbs from five toothed whales and two baleen whales and have examined their correlation with the average dive duration. Results showed that some variation in functional properties exists among whale Mbs with the toothed whale Mbs having higher O(2) affinities and nitrite reductase activities (similar to those of horse) compared with baleen whale Mbs. However, these differences did not correlate with average dive duration. Instead, a significant correlation was found between whale Mb concentration and average duration and depth of dives and between O(2) affinity and nitrite reductase activity when including other mammalian Mbs. Despite the fact that the functional properties showed little species-specific differences in vitro, they may still contribute to enhancing diving capacity as a result of the increased muscle Mb concentration found in extreme divers. In conclusion, Mb concentration rather than specific functional reactivities may support whale diving performance.
Signe Helbo; Angela Fago
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-6-12
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-6-13     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Aarhus University.
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