The influence of UV-irradiation on the interaction of hemoglobin (Hb) with Triton X-100 is investigated by UV–Vis absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and freeze-fractured transmission electron microscopy. It is found that in Triton X-100/H2O systems Hb can convert to hemichrome but heme is not present, whereas in Triton X-100/n-C5H11OH/H2O microemulsion Hb can convert to hemichrome and then induce the heme monomer to leave the hydrophobic cavity of Hb. UV-irradiation can also convert Hb to hemichrome, and subsequently make heme to be photodegraded, in which the conversion rate depends on the structure of the surfactant aggregates. Furthermore, in order to understand the mechanism of photostabilization of Hb in Triton X-100 systems, the photostabilization of heme in the Triton X-100 aqueous solutions and Triton X-100/n-C5H11OH/H2O microemulsions has been studied.
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