A structural analysis of the transient interaction between the cytochrome bc1 complex and its substrate cytochrome c.
ABSTRACT In cellular respiration, cytochrome c transfers electrons from the cytochrome bc1 complex to cytochrome c oxidase by transiently binding to the membrane proteins. The first X-ray structure of the yeast cytochrome bc1 complex with bound cytochrome c revealed the general architecture of the electron-transfer complex. The interface of the complex is small. The haem moieties are centrally located in a mainly non-polar contact site, which includes a cation-pi interaction and is surrounded by complementary charged residues. Only one cytochrome c1-docking site of the dimeric complex is occupied with cytochrome c. The recent 1.9 A (1 A=0.1 nm) resolution structure of the complex showed that the interface is highly hydrated. With cytochrome c bound, a higher number of interfacial water molecules are present on the cytochrome c1 interface, whereas its protein surface is not affected. Remarkably, the dimer structure is slightly asymmetric. Univalent cytochrome c binding coincides with conformational changes of the Rieske head domain and subunit QCR6p. Pronounced hydration and a mobility mismatch at the interface with disordered charged residues on the cytochrome c side are favourable for transient binding. Comparison with a new structure of the complex with bound isoform-2 cytochrome c led to the definition of a core interface, which refers to four common interaction pairs including the cation-pi interaction. They encircle the haem groups and are surrounded by variable interactions. The core interface may be a feature to gain specificity for formation of the reactive complex. The consistency in the binding interaction despite differences in primary sequence, redox state and crystal contacts, together with crystallization at physiological ionic strength, clearly suggest that the structures show the native bound state of the electron-transfer complex.
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ABSTRACT: A refinement of the protonmotive Q cycle mechanism is proposed in which oxidation of ubiquinol is a concerted reaction and occurs by an alternating, half-of-the-sites mechanism. A concerted mechanism of ubiquinol oxidation is inferred from the finding that there is reciprocal control between the high potential and low potential redox components involved in ubiquinol oxidation. The potential of the Rieske iron-sulfur protein controls the rate of reduction of the b cytochromes, and the potential of the b cytochromes controls the rate of reduction of the Rieske protein and cytochrome c(1). A concerted mechanism of ubiquinol oxidation reconciles the findings that the ubiquinol-cytochrome c reductase kinetics of the bc(1) complex include both a pH dependence and a dependence on Rieske iron-sulfur protein midpoint potential.An alternating, half-of-the-sites mechanism for ubiquinol oxidation is inferred from the finding that some inhibitory analogs of ubiquinol that block ubiquinol oxidation by binding to the ubiquinol oxidation site in the bc(1) complex inhibit the yeast enzyme with a stoichiometry of 0.5 per bc(1) complex. One molecule of inhibitor is sufficient to fully inhibit the dimeric enzyme, and the binding is anti-cooperative, in that a second molecule of inhibitor binds with much lower affinity to a dimer in which an inhibitor molecule is already bound. An alternating, half-of-the-sites mechanism implies that, at least under some conditions, only half of the sites in the dimeric enzyme are reactive at any one time. This provides a raison d'être for the dimeric structure of the enzyme, in that bc(1) activity may be regulated and capable of switching between a half-of-the-sites active and a fully active enzyme.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 10/2002; 1555(1-3):166-73. · 4.66 Impact Factor