What is hemoglobin?
Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues and returns carbon dioxide from the tissues back to the lungs.
Hemoglobin is made up of four protein molecules (globulin chains) that are connected together. The normal adult hemoglobin (Hbg) molecule contains two alpha-globulin chains and two beta-globulin chains. In fetuses and infants, beta chains are not common and the hemoglobin molecule is made up of two alpha chains and two gamma chains. As the infant grows, the gamma chains are gradually replaced by beta chains, forming the adult hemoglobin structure.