Reaction of C-type cytochromes with the iron hexacyanides. Mechanistic implications

Biophysical Journal
N Ohno, M A Cusanovich


The reaction of c-cytochromes with iron hexacyanides is similar in mechanism to the interaction of cytochromes with their physiological oxidants and reductants in that the formation of complexes precedes electron transfer. Analysis of the kinetics of oxidation and reduction of a number of c-cytochromes by solving the simultaneous differential equations defining the mechanism is possible, and allows assignment of all six rate constants describing a minimum three-step mechanism [cyto(Fe(+3)) + Fe(+2) right harpoon over left harpoon cyto (Fe(+3)) - Fe(+2) right harpoon over left harpoon cyto(Fe(+2)) - Fe(+3) right harpoon over left harpoon cyto(Fe(+2)) + Fe(+3)]. We find that the usual steady-state approximations are not valid. Furthermore, the ratio of first-order rate constants for electron transfer was approximately 1.0, and no correlation was found between any of the six rate constants and the differences in oxidation-reduction potential of the iron-hexacyanides and different cytochromes c. However, it was found that the ratio of the rate constants for complex formation between ferricytochrome c and potassium ferrocyanide and ferrocytochrome c and potassium ferricyanide was proportional to the difference in oxidation-reduction...Continue Reading


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