Sickle Cell Disease : The Oldest Of The Known Protein Association Diseases

776 Words 4 Pages
Sickle cell disease is perhaps the oldest of the known protein association diseases discovered in 1910 by physician James Herrick. Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder of hemoglobin, which gives the red color to blood. Sickle cell anemia is a disease that protects from another disease, malaria, but eventually kills the “saved” patient. Malaria is one of the most common infectious diseases worldwide. Plasmodium parasites cause malaria, which is transmitted to an individual by Anopheles mosquitoes, the only infectious from the mosquito species that can transmit the disease. The mosquito initially becomes infected by obtaining a blood meal containing microscopic malaria parasites from an infected person. When the mosquito takes its next blood, the parasites are injected through the mosquito 's saliva into another person. These parasites multiply within red blood cells, causing symptoms that include anemia, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, fever, chills, nausea, and, coma and death [2]. In this laboratory we made use of electrophoresis in agarose gels to separate the two allelic forms of the red-blood-cell protein hemoglobin, which is responsible for oxygen exchange in animals. In the adult human, the hemoglobin molecule is a tetramer made up of two pairs of polypeptide chains; two α chains, two β chains, and four heme molecules containing iron. Normal hemoglobin (HbA) is a protein that changes the configuration of the nucleotides in its amino acid chains so that it…

Related Documents