Abstract The molecular and electronic structure of the modified prosthetic group of sulfhemoglobin (SHb) was investigated by 1H NMR for the low-spin ferric cyano-met and high-spin ferrous deoxy sulfhemoglobin complex. The 1H NMR resonances of the two subunits in the cyano-met SHb complex were differentiated on the basis of the differential stability toward regeneration of native subunits. The subunit origin for the two sets of resonances was established by formation of the sulfglobin protein for the isolated α-chain prior to assembling with the native β-subunit to yield a tetramer with sulfhemin in the α-subunits. The subunit peak assignments establish that it is the β-subunit of SHb which regenerates more rapidly to native protein. The hyperfine shifted sulfhemin peaks were assigned based on steady-state nuclear Overhauser effects which demonstrated that similarly hyperfine shifted peaks exhibit the same dipolar connectivities observed in the analogous sulfmyoglobin complex. Hence it is concluded that pyrrole B is the site of reaction in both hemoglobin and myoglobin. The initially formed SHb complex failed to equilibrate to yield a complex with a sulfhemin sufficiently stable to extraction as found previously for sulfmyoglobin. However, apoHb readily bound the green sulfhemin extracted from the terminal alkaline equilibration product of sulfmyoglobin. The inhibition on the equilibration to the alkaline form with the exocyclic thiolene ring is attributed to the interaction with Val FG5. The observations of the same dipolar connectivities among similarly hyperfine shifted peaks in the directly prepared and reconstituted SHb complexes further support the same structure for the sulfhemin in sulfmyoglobin and SHb. The strongly hyperfine shifted peaks in the deoxy form of both SHb complexes were found very similar to those of the analogous sulfmyoglobin complexes. The proximal His labile ring proton signal appears to experience a 5- to 10-ppm decrease upon conversion of a native globin to sulfglobin. This attenuation may provide a probe for differentiating chlorins and hemins in globin pockets.