Kinetics of electron transfer within cytochrome bc(1) and between cytochrome bc(1) and cytochrome c

by Millett, Francis; Durham, Bill

In this minireview an overview is presented of the kinetics of electron transfer within the cytochrome bc(1) complex, as well as from cytochrome bc(1) to cytochrome c. The cytochrome bc(1) complex (ubiquinone: cytochrome c oxidoreductase) is an integral membrane protein found in the mitochondrial respiratory chain as well as the electron transfer chains of many respiratory and photosynthetic bacteria. Experiments on both mitochondrial and bacterial cyatochrome bc(1) have provided detailed kinetic information supporting a Q-cycle mechanism for electron transfer within the complex. On the basis of X-ray crystallographic studies of cytochrome bc(1), it has been proposed that the Rieske iron - sulfur protein undergoes large conformational changes as it transports electrons from ubiquinol to cytochrome c(1). A new method was developed to study electron transfer within cytochrome bc(1) using a binuclear ruthenium complex to rapidly photooxidize cytochrome c(1). The rate constant for electron transfer from the iron - sulfur center to cytochrome c(1) was found to be 80,000 s(-1), and is controlled by the dynamics of conformational changes in the iron - sulfur protein. Moreover, a linkage between the conformation of the ubiquinol binding site and the conformational dynamics of the iron - sulfur protein has been discovered which could play a role in the bifurcated oxidation of ubiquinol. A ruthenium photoexcitation method has also been developed to measure electron transfer from cytochrome c(1) to cytochrome c. The kinetics of electron transfer are interpreted in light of a new X-ray crystal structure for the complex between cytochrome bc(1) and cytochrome c.

Photosynthesis Research
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