PMID: 6276393Feb 25, 1982

The cytochrome c oxidase of Paracoccus denitrificans pumps protons in a reconstituted system

The Journal of Biological Chemistry
M SoliozB Ludwig


The purified two-subunit cytochrome c oxidase of Paracoccus denitrificans was reconstituted into phospholipid vesicles having a high internal buffering capacity and exhibiting a respiratory control index greater than 6.6. With these proteoliposomes, pH changes of the suspending medium were monitored in response to reductant pulses in the presence of valinomycin and potassium. When reduced cytochrome c was added to allow for a limited number of turnovers (2-12), a net acidification of the extravesicular space could be observed. This apparent proton ejection by the vesicles was abolished by inhibition of the oxidase with azide, by bypassing the oxidase with ferricyanide, or by preventing charge compensation by omitting valinomycin. Addition of uncoupler led to an alkalinization, rather than an acidification, of the extravesicular space in response to reduced cytochrome c. We thus conclude that cytochrome c oxidase of P. denitrificans is a proton pump. Under the conditions described here, an apparent stoichiometry of 0.6 proton ejected/electron was obtained by extrapolation to zero turnovers.

Related Concepts

Bos indicus
Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit VIa
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Paracoccus denitrificans

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