Neuroglobin is a member of the vertebrate globin family involved in cellular oxygen homeostasis. It is an intracellular hemoprotein expressed in the central and peripheral nervous system, cerebrospinal fluid, retina and endocrine tissues. Neuroglobin is a monomer that reversibly binds oxygen with an affinity higher than that of hemoglobin. It also increases oxygen availability to brain tissue and provides protection under hypoxic or ischemic conditions, potentially limiting brain damage. Neuroglobin were in the past found only in vertebrate neurons, but recently in 2013, were found in the neurons of unrelated protostomes, like photosynthesisacoel and jelly fish. In addition to neurons, neuroglobin is present in astrocytes in certain pathologies of the rodent brain and in the physiological seal brain. This is thought to be due to convergent evolution. It is of ancient evolutionary origin, and is homologous to nerve globins of invertebrates. Recent research on Neuroglobin presence confirmed that Human neuroglobin protein in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
Neuroglobin was first identified by Thorsten Burmester et al. in 2000. Italian researchers suggest that neuroglobin is more likely to usher in nitric oxide to protect neuron survival and recovery in areas where oxygen supply is reduced.
The 3D structure of human neuroglobin was determined in 2003. The next year, murine neuroglobin was determined at a higher resolution.
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