The proton pump of the mitochondrial bc1 complex.

Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.
The Italian journal of biochemistry 04/2003; 52(1):33-6.
Source: PubMed


The molecular mechanism of the proton pump activity by the respiratory chain bc1 complex is still unknown. This group has proposed since long time that protonation/deprotonation events in the apoproteins of the complex are cooperatively linked to the oxido-reduction reactions at the quinone catalytic centre. Protolytic residues in the apoproteins can thus provide proton transfer pathways between the bulk aqueons phases and the redox centre. A series of experiments has been carried out aimed at demonstrating a role of particular complex subunits in the pump process. In this paper recent results are reviewed which have evidenced a definite role of polypeptide carboxyl residues in the proton pump mechanism. In particular, experiments carried out with both the bovine and P. denitrificans purified enzymes have indicated a specific involvement of aspartic residue(s) in the Rieske Fe/S protein in the proton pump function.

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