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Research article2010Peer reviewedOpen access

Substrate binding and the catalytic reactions in cbb3-type oxidases: The lipid membrane modulates ligand binding

Huang, Yafei; Reimann, Joachim; Singh, Laila M. R.; Adelroth, Pia


Heme–copper oxidases (HCuOs) are the terminal components of the respiratory chain in the mitochondrial membrane or the cell membrane in many bacteria. These enzymes reduce oxygen to water and use the free energy from this reaction to maintain a proton-motive force across the membrane in which they are embedded. The heme–copper oxidases of the cbb3-type are only found in bacteria, often pathogenic ones since they have a low Km for O2, enabling the bacteria to colonize semi-anoxic environments. Cbb3-type (C) oxidases are highly divergent from the mitochondrial-like aa3-type (A) oxidases, and within the heme– copper oxidase family, cbb3 is the closest relative to the most divergent member, the bacterial nitric oxide reductase (NOR). Nitric oxide reductases reduce NO to N2O without coupling the reaction to the generation of any electrochemical proton gradient. The signi␣cant structural differences between A- and C-type heme– copper oxidases are manifested in the lack in cbb3 of most of the amino acids found to be important for proton pumping in the A-type, as well as in the different binding characteristics of ligands such as CO, O2 and NO. Investigations of the reasons for these differences at a molecular level have provided insights into the mechanism of O2 and NO reduction as well as the proton-pumping mechanism in all heme–copper oxidases. In this paper, we discuss results from these studies with the focus on the relationship between proton transfer and ligand binding and reduction. In addition, we present new data, which show that CO binding to one of the c-type hemes of CcoP is modulated by protein–lipid interactions in the membrane. These results show that the heme c-CO binding can be used as a probe of protein–membrane interactions in cbb3 oxidases, and possible physiological consequences for this behavior are discussed


Lipid; Liposome; Nitric oxide reduction; Oxygen reduction; Carbon monoxide; Proton transfer

Published in

BBA - Bioenergetics
2010, Volume: 1797, number: 6-7, pages: 724-731

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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