Archives of biochemistry and biophysics

Redox equilibration after one-electron reduction of cytochrome c oxidase: radical formation and a possible hydrogen relay mechanism.

PMID 24811894


Kinetic studies using UV/visible and EPR spectroscopy were carried out to follow the distribution of electrons within beef heart cytochrome c oxidase (CcO), both active and cyanide-inhibited, following addition of reduced cytochrome c as electron donor. In the initial one-electron reduced state the electron is shared between three redox centers, heme a, CuA and a third site, probably CuB. Using a rapid freeze system and the spin trap 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline N-oxide (DMPO) a protein radical was also detected. The EPR spectrum of the DMPO adduct of this radical was consistent with tyrosyl radical capture. This may be a feature of a charge relay mechanism involved in some part of the CcO electron transfer system from bound cytochrome c via CuA and heme a to the a3CuB binuclear center.