UniProtKB description: Involved in oxygen transport in the brain. Hexacoordinate globin, displaying competitive binding of oxygen or the distal His residue to the iron atom. Not capable of penetrating cell membranes. The deoxygenated form exhibits nitrite reductase activity inhibiting cellular respiration via NO-binding to cytochrome c oxidase. Involved in neuroprotection during oxidative stress. May exert its anti-apoptotic activity by acting to reset the trigger level of mitochondrial cytochrome c release necessary to commit the cells to apoptosis.