Since in the steady state 6-8 grams of hemoglobin are synthesized daily, 6-8 grams must also be degraded.
This gives rise to about 300 milligrams of heme. Heme is not reutilized, so it must be degraded and excreted.
Although heme is not recycled, its iron is conserved.
To prevent this, there is a plasma protein, haptoglobin, which binds the dimer and
Any free heme is bound to another plasma protein, hemopexin, which then transports it to the liver for degradation.
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Last modified 1/5/95