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Proton pumping in cytochrome c oxidase: Energetic requirements and the role of two proton channels
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Organic Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Organic Chemistry.
2014 (English)In: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics, ISSN 0005-2728, E-ISSN 1879-2650, Vol. 1837, no 7, 1165-1177 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cytochrome c oxidase is a superfamily of membrane bound enzymes catalyzing the exergonic reduction of molecular oxygen to water, producing an electrochemical gradient across the membrane. The gradient is formed both by the electrogenic chemistry, taking electrons and protons from opposite sides of the membrane, and by proton pumping across the entire membrane. In the most efficient subfamily, the A-family of oxidases, one proton is pumped in each reduction step, which is surprising considering the fact that two of the reduction steps most likely are only weakly exergonic. Based on a combination of quantum chemical calculations and experimental information, it is here shown that from both a thermodynamic and a kinetic point of view, it should be possible to pump one proton per electron also with such an uneven distribution of the free energy release over the reduction steps, at least up to half the maximum gradient. A previously suggested pumping mechanism is developed further to suggest a reason for the use of two proton transfer channels in the A-family. Since the rate of proton transfer to the binuclear center through the D-channel is redox dependent, it might become too slow for the steps with low exergonicity. Therefore, a second channel, the K-channel, where the rate is redox-independent is needed. A redox-dependent leakage possibility is also suggested, which might be important for efficient energy conservation at a high gradient. A mechanism for the variation in proton pumping stoichiometry over the different subfamilies of cytochrome oxidase is also suggested. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 18th European Bioenergetic Conference.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 1837, no 7, 1165-1177 p.
Keyword [en]
Cytochrome c oxidase, Proton pumping, Density functional theory, Energy profiles
National Category
Organic Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106577DOI: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2014.01.002ISI: 000338815000023OAI: diva2:737949


Available from: 2014-08-14 Created: 2014-08-12 Last updated: 2015-09-30Bibliographically approved

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Blomberg, Margareta R. A.Siegbahn, Per E. M.
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