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Physical Contact Between Cytochrome C1 And Cytochrome C Increases The Driving Force For Electron Transfer.

Gonzalo Pérez-Mejías, José Luis Olloqui-Sariego, Alejandra Guerra-Castellano, A. Díaz-Quintana, J. J. Calvente, R. Andreu, Miguel Á De la Rosa, I. Díaz-Moreno
Published 2020 · Chemistry, Medicine

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In oxidative phosphorylation, the transfer of electrons from reduced cofactors to molecular oxygen via the electron transport chain (ETC) sustains the electrochemical transmembrane potential needed for ATP synthesis. A key component of the ETC is complex III (CIII, cytochrome bc1), which transfers electrons from reduced ubiquinone to soluble cytochrome c (Cc) coupled to proton translocation into the mitochondrial intermembrane space. One electron from every two donated by hydroquinone at site P is transferred to Cc via the Rieske-cytochrome c1 (Cc1) pathway. According to recent structural analyses of CIII and its transitory complex with Cc, the interaction between the Rieske subunit and Cc1 switches intermittently during CIII activity. However, the electrochemical properties of Cc1 and their function as a wire between Rieske and Cc are rather unexplored. Here, temperature variable cyclic voltammetry provides novel data on the thermodynamics and kinetics of interfacial electron transfer of immobilized Cc1. Findings reveal that Cc1 displays two channels for electron exchange, with a remarkably fast heterogeneous electron transfer rate. Furthermore, the electrochemical properties are strongly modulated by the binding mode of the protein. Additionally, we show that electron transfer from Cc1 to Cc is thermodynamically favored in the immobilized Cc1-Cc complex. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, HADDOCK, and Surface Plasmon Resonance experiments provide further structural and functional data of the Cc1-Cc complex. Our data supports the Rieske-Cc1-Cc pathway acting as a unilateral switch thyristor in which redox potential modulation through protein-protein contacts are complemented with the relay-like Rieske behavior.
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