Proton translocation in cytochrome c oxidase: Insights from proton exchange kinetics and vibrational spectroscopy

Izumi Ishigami, Masahide Hikita, Tsuyoshi Egawa, Syun Ru Yeh, Denis L. Rousseau

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cytochrome c oxidase is the terminal enzyme in the electron transfer chain. It reduces oxygen to water and harnesses the released energy to translocate protons across the inner mitochondrial membrane. The mechanism by which the oxygen chemistry is coupled to proton translocation is not yet resolved owing to the difficulty of monitoring dynamic proton transfer events. Here we summarize several postulated mechanisms for proton translocation, which have been supported by a variety of vibrational spectroscopic studies. We recently proposed a proton translocation model involving proton accessibility to the regions near the propionate groups of the heme a and heme a3 redox centers of the enzyme based by hydrogen/deuterium (H/D) exchange Raman scattering studies (Egawa et al., PLoS ONE 2013). To advance our understanding of this model and to refine the proton accessibility to the hemes, the H/D exchange dependence of the heme propionate group vibrational modes on temperature and pH was measured. The H/D exchange detected at the propionate groups of heme a3 takes place within a few seconds under all conditions. In contrast, that detected at the heme a propionates occurs in the oxidized but not the reduced enzyme and the H/D exchange is pH-dependent with a pKa of ∼ 8.0 (faster at high pH). Analysis of the thermodynamic parameters revealed that, as the pH is varied, entropy/enthalpy compensation held the free energy of activation in a narrow range. The redox dependence of the possible proton pathways to the heme groups is discussed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Vibrational spectroscopies and bioenergetic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-108
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Volume1847
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Cytochrome oxidase
  • Heme
  • Proton translocation
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Vibrational spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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