May 23, 2012

Mobility of Xe atoms within the oxygen diffusion channel of cytochrome ba(3) oxidase

V Mitch LunaC David Stout


We use a form of "freeze-trap, kinetic crystallography" to explore the migration of Xe atoms away from the dinuclear heme a(3)/Cu(B) center in Thermus thermophilus cytochrome ba(3) oxidase. This enzyme is a member of the heme-copper oxidase superfamily and is thus crucial for dioxygen-dependent life. The mechanisms involved in the migration of oxygen, water, electrons, and protons into and/or out of the specialized channels of the heme-copper oxidases are generally not well understood. Pressurization of crystals with Xe gas previously revealed a O(2) diffusion channel in cytochrome ba(3) oxidase that is continuous, Y-shaped, 18-20 Å in length and comprised of hydrophobic residues, connecting the protein surface within the bilayer to the a(3)-Cu(B) center in the active site. To understand movement of gas molecules within the O(2) channel, we performed crystallographic analysis of 19 Xe laden crystals freeze-trapped in liquid nitrogen at selected times between 0 and 480 s while undergoing outgassing at room temperature. Variation in Xe crystallographic occupancy at five discrete sites as a function of time leads to a kinetic model revealing relative degrees of mobility of Xe atoms within the channel. Xe egress occurs primarily th...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Potassium Channel Opener [EPC]
Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit VIa
Crystal - Body Material
Atom (substance)
Liquid nitrogen
Tertiary Protein Structure
Thermus thermophilus extract
Freeze Substitution

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