Interaction of Oxygen and Other Gases with Haem Containing Proteins

A special issue of Oxygen (ISSN 2673-9801).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 1980

Special Issue Editor

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Applied Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
Interests: redox signaling; reactive oxygen species; hydrogen sulfide; hydrogen gas; nitric oxide
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The interaction of molecular oxygen (O2) and haem-containing proteins has been known of for a long time. Oxygen is transiently bound by both haemoglobin and myoglobin in animals, as well as by globins, found in plants. Oxygen also binds to proteins with haem prosthetic groups which function as terminal electron acceptors, such as in the enzyme NADPH oxidase, which is instrumental in the generation of reactive oxygen species in animals and plants. Other gases, besides oxygen, interact with haem-containing proteins too. Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are two good examples, but several other gases are also known to cause similar effects. Inert gases, such as xenon (Xe), can bind to hydrophobic cavities and alter protein function, with the globin proteins being a good model system for the study of such effects. Nitric oxide (NO) is known to affect haem proteins, such as haemoglobin and guanylyl cyclase. More recently, molecular hydrogen (H2) has been found to cause significant biological effects, partly mediated by the removal of hydroxyl radicals. One mechanism suggested is the interaction of H2 with protein haem groups. Therefore, along with oxygen, several gases which are likely to be present in cells at the same time are able to interact with a range of proteins which contain haem, and their interplay and how they affect cellular function will no doubt be an area of interest in the foreseeable future.

Prof. Dr. John T. Hancock
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Oxygen is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • oxygen oxygen transport and movement
  • oxygen binding
  • gasotransmitters haem (Heme)
  • prosthetic groups
  • guanylyl cyclase (Guanylate cyclase)
  • NADPH oxidase
  • carbon monoxide
  • carbon dioxide
  • electron transfer
  • nitric oxide
  • nitric oxide synthase
  • xenon
  • argon
  • krypton
  • hydrogen
  • hydrogen sulfide
  • hydrophobic cavities and pockets
  • protein structure alterations

Published Papers (1 paper)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:


16 pages, 1549 KiB  
An Interplay of Gases: Oxygen and Hydrogen in Biological Systems
by Grace Russell, Jennifer May and John T. Hancock
Oxygen 2024, 4(1), 37-52; - 9 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1736
Produced by photosynthesis, oxygen (O2) is a fundamentally important gas in biological systems, playing roles as a terminal electron receptor in respiration and in host defence through the creation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Hydrogen (H2) plays a role [...] Read more.
Produced by photosynthesis, oxygen (O2) is a fundamentally important gas in biological systems, playing roles as a terminal electron receptor in respiration and in host defence through the creation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Hydrogen (H2) plays a role in metabolism for some organisms, such as at thermal vents and in the gut environment, but has a role in controlling growth and development, and in disease states, both in plants and animals. It has been suggested as a medical therapy and for enhancing agriculture. However, the exact mode of action of H2 in biological systems is not fully established. Furthermore, there is an interrelationship between O2 and H2 in organisms. These gases may influence each other’s presence in solution, and may both interact with the same cellular components, such as haem prosthetic groups. It has also been suggested that H2 may affect the structures of some proteins, such as globins, with possible effects on O2 movement in organisms. Lastly, therapies may be based on supplying O2 and H2 together, such as with oxyhydrogen. Therefore, the relationship regarding how biological systems perceive and respond to both O2 and H2, and the interrelationship seen are worth considering, and will be discussed here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interaction of Oxygen and Other Gases with Haem Containing Proteins)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop