The Journal of biological chemistry

The reaction of the electrostatic cytochrome c-cytochrome oxidase complex with oxygen.

PMID 1846619


The reaction of the electrostatic cytochrome c-cytochrome oxidase complex with oxygen is measured by transient absorption spectroscopy. The oxygen reaction is initiated by photolytic removal of CO from cytochrome oxidase, using a flash-pumped dye laser. The subsequent reaction of the cytochrome c-cytochrome oxidase complex with oxygen is reported at 550, 605, 744, and 830 nm at different cytochrome c:cytochrome oxidase ratios and different oxygen concentrations. In the absence of cytochrome c the time course of the reaction of the oxidase is well described by a triple exponential process at any of the measured wavelengths. The three processes are well resolved at high O2 levels (i.e. greater than 200 microM), where they reach first-order rate limits of 2.4 x 10(4), 7.5 x 10(3), and 650 s-1. When cytochrome c is added the oxidation of cytochrome a and one of the redox active cooper centers (CuA) are interrupted. The maximal effect of cytochrome c on the oxidation of the oxidase occurs at a c:aa3 ratio of 1. Cytochrome c reacts in a biphasic process with rates of up to 7 x 10(3) and 550 s-1 at high oxygen. The fast phase takes up 60% of the process, and this is independent of the cytochrome c:cytochrome oxidase ratio. The results are discussed in the context of a model in which electron entry into cytochrome oxidase from cytochrome c is via CuA, and cytochrome a functions to mediate electron transfer from CuA to the oxygen binding site. The role of CuA as initial electron acceptor in cytochrome c oxidase is related to its physical proximity to cytochrome c is the cytochrome c-cytochrome oxidase complex.

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