Medical Definition of Hemoglobin S

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hemoglobin S: The most common type of abnormal hemoglobin and the basis of sickle cell trait and sickle cell anemia.

Hemoglobin S differs from normal adult hemoglobin (called hemoglobin A) only by a single amino acid substitution (a valine replacing a glutamine in the 6th position of the beta chain of globin). Recognition of this tiny change in the hemoglobin molecule marked the opening of molecular medicine.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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