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Tracing the D-Pathway in Reconstituted Site-Directed Mutants of Cytochrome c Oxidase from Paracoccus denitrificans

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Harrenga,  Axel
Department of Molecular Membrane Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Kannt,  Aimo
Department of Molecular Membrane Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Michel,  Hartmut
Department of Molecular Membrane Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Bamberg,  Ernst
Department of Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Pfitzner, U., Hoffmeier, K., Harrenga, A., Kannt, A., Michel, H., Bamberg, E., et al. (2000). Tracing the D-Pathway in Reconstituted Site-Directed Mutants of Cytochrome c Oxidase from Paracoccus denitrificans. Biochemistry, 39(23), 6756-6762. doi:10.1021/bi992235x.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-07F0-2
Abstract
Heme−copper terminal oxidases use the free energy of oxygen reduction to establish a transmembrane proton gradient. While the molecular mechanism of coupling electron transfer to proton pumping is still under debate, recent structure determinations and mutagenesis studies have provided evidence for two pathways for protons within subunit I of this class of enzymes. Here, we probe the D-pathway by mutagenesis of the cytochrome c oxidase of the bacterium Paracoccus denitrificans; amino acid replacements were selected with the rationale of interfering with the hydrophilic lining of the pathway, in particular its assumed chain of water molecules. Proton pumping was assayed in the reconstituted vesicle system by a stopped-flow spectroscopic approach, allowing a reliable assessment of proton translocation efficiency even at low turnover rates. Several mutations at positions above the cytoplasmic pathway entrance (Asn 131, Asn 199) and at the periplasmic exit region (Asp 399) led to complete inhibition of proton pumping; one of these mutants, N131D, exhibited an ideal decoupled phenotype, with a turnover comparable to that of the wild-type enzyme. Since sets of mutations in other positions along the presumed course of the pathway showed normal proton translocation stoichiometries, we conclude that the D-pathway is too wide in most areas above positions 131/199 to be disturbed by single amino acid replacements.