Jun 8, 2000

Tracing the D-pathway in reconstituted site-directed mutants of cytochrome c oxidase from Paracoccus denitrificans

Ute PfitznerBernd Ludwig


Heme-copper terminal oxidases use the free energy of oxygen reduction to establish a transmembrane proton gradient. While the molecular mechanism of coupling electron transfer to proton pumping is still under debate, recent structure determinations and mutagenesis studies have provided evidence for two pathways for protons within subunit I of this class of enzymes. Here, we probe the D-pathway by mutagenesis of the cytochrome c oxidase of the bacterium Paracoccus denitrificans; amino acid replacements were selected with the rationale of interfering with the hydrophilic lining of the pathway, in particular its assumed chain of water molecules. Proton pumping was assayed in the reconstituted vesicle system by a stopped-flow spectroscopic approach, allowing a reliable assessment of proton translocation efficiency even at low turnover rates. Several mutations at positions above the cytoplasmic pathway entrance (Asn 131, Asn 199) and at the periplasmic exit region (Asp 399) led to complete inhibition of proton pumping; one of these mutants, N131D, exhibited an ideal decoupled phenotype, with a turnover comparable to that of the wild-type enzyme. Since sets of mutations in other positions along the presumed course of the pathway show...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Paracoccus denitrificans
Biochemical Pathway
Cytochrome C Oxidase
Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit VIa
Bacterial Proteins
Enzymes, antithrombotic
Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
Electron Transport
Carbonyl Cyanide m-Chlorophenyl Hydrazone

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