Glycated Hemoglobin HbA1c
Glycated Hemoglobin (HbA1c) is a derivative compound that results when Hemoglobin (Hb) is exposed to high levels of blood sugar for prolonged periods of time. Sugar is extremely cytotoxic, and readily binds to proteins throughout the body. Protein glycation causes structural changes to occur in the protein, preventing it from achieving ideal 3D configurations
Hemoglobin the most abundant protein inside red blood cells. But this isn’t the only place we find Hemoglobin throughout nature. Various forms of Hemoglobin can be found through the body performing alternative functions, like oxygen storage.
Hemoglobin is a relatively large protein, it’s reported resolution is 2.1 Å. It is composed of four protein chains: 2 Alpha chains and 2 Beta chains. Each chain contains a single ring-like HEME Group (red x 4) with an iron atom core.
This simple animation showcases the process of “glycation,” when sugar molecules like glucose and fructose bind to hemoglobin and modulating its function.
|Chain α||141||1069 (x 2)|
|Chain ß||146||1123 (x 2)|
|HEME Group||1||43 (x 4)|
|Oxygen||1||2 (x 4)|
|Glucose||1||12 (x 16)|
The “A1c” Blood Test
The Glycated Hemoglobin HbA1C blood test, or more commonly known as the “A1c” blood test, is an important test given to nearly every single person with diabetes on the planet and many of those at risk for developing diabetes. It is the universally preferred method of diagnosing the onset of pre-diabetes and the only blood test that does not require overnight fasting. Achieving improved A1C scores is an important milestone in lifestyle intervention programs focused on reversing pre-diabetes.
As important as this blood test is, the HbA1C blood test is systemically misunderstood by patients and confused with acute blood sugar readings. The Hemoglobin A1C protein model solves this problem by transforming a misunderstood blood test result into an interactive scientific model that patients of all ages can explore while waiting for physicians to begin an appointment.
Purchase one of our custom made Glycated Hemoglobin HbA1c Teaching Model below. Purchase the Oxygenated Hemoglobin model and use the set to explain the difference between good and bad blood glucose control.