"Porphyrins" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus,
MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure,
which enables searching at various levels of specificity.
A group of compounds containing the porphin structure, four pyrrole rings connected by methine bridges in a cyclic configuration to which a variety of side chains are attached. The nature of the side chain is indicated by a prefix, as uroporphyrin, hematoporphyrin, etc. The porphyrins, in combination with iron, form the heme component in biologically significant compounds such as hemoglobin and myoglobin.
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