California Institute of Technology Inter-Office Memo
To Dr. Murayama From Linus Pauling Date 18 August 1955
Subject Proposed Research on Human Hemoglobin
H. G. Kunkel and G. Wallenius, Science 122, 288 (1955), have reported finding a new hemoglobin in normal adult human blood.
This hemoglobin when subjected to electrophoresis in a starch slab, barbital buffer of pH 8.6, migrates less than half as
fast as A. Under these conditions it migrates equivalently to E. They report a range of 1.8-3.5% of this hemoglobin, relative
to A, in individuals with various chronic diseases.
In addition, they report that normal adult blood shows small amounts of hemoglobin migrating more rapidly than A.
They have isolated part of these hemoglobins (the rapid one is supposed to be heterogeneous).
I think that it is possible that these new hemoglobins represent errors in polypeptide-chain synthesis by the normal gene.
I propose that we investigate them with this in mind. Perhaps only the more rapid hemoglobin is of this type.
I suggest that as a first step you repeat some of the work of Kunkel and Wallenius. I propose then to get blood from patients
in Pacific State Hospital, in order that the amounts of the new hemoglobins can be determined.
I think that you should isolate some of the new hemoglobins, and we might ask Dr. Rhinesmith to investigate their end groups.
It may be worth while to try to so a better job of fractionation of the faster component than was done by Kunkel and Wallenius.