AHSP: a novel hemoglobin helper

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Recently, the small protein α hemoglobin–stabilizing protein (AHSP) was identified and found to specifically bind α-globin, stabilize its structure, and limit the toxic effects of excess α-globin, which are manifest in the inherited blood disorder β thalassemia. In this issue of the JCI, Yu, Weiss, and colleagues show that AHSP is also critical to the formation and stabilization of normal amounts of hemoglobin, even when α-globin is deficient, indicating unique and previously unidentified roles for this molecule (see the related article beginning on page 1856).

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