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Biochemistry. 2002 Jul 23;41(29):9116-25.

Vibrational modes of tyrosines in cytochrome c oxidase from Paracoccus denitrificans: FTIR and electrochemical studies on Tyr-D4-labeled and on Tyr280His and Tyr35Phe mutant enzymes.

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  • 1Institut für Biophysik der Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7 Haus 74, 60590 Frankfurt/M., Germany.


A combined electrochemical and FTIR spectroscopic approach was used to identify the vibrational modes of tyrosines in cytochrome c oxidase from Paracoccus denitrificans which change upon electron transfer and coupled proton transfer. Electrochemically induced FTIR difference spectra of the Tyr-D4-labeled cytochrome c oxidase reveal that only small contributions arise from the tyrosines. Contributions between 1600 and 1560 cm(-1) are attributed to nu8a/8b(CC) ring modes. The nu19(CC) ring mode for the protonated form of tyrosines is proposed to absorb with an uncommonly small signal at 1525-1518 cm(-1) and for the deprotonated form at 1496-1486 cm(-1), accompanied by the increase of the nu19(CC) ring mode of the Tyr-D(4)-labeled oxidase at approximately 1434 cm(-1). A signal at 1270 cm(-1) can be tentatively attributed to the nu7'a(CO) and delta(COH) mode of a protonated tyrosine. Uncommon absorptions, like the mode at 1524 cm(-1), indicate the involvement of Tyr280 in the spectra. Tyr280 is a crucial residue close to the binuclear center and is covalently bonded to His276. The possible changes of the spectral properties are discussed together with the absorbance spectra of tyrosine bound to histidine. The vibrational modes of Tyr280 are further analyzed in combination with the mutation to histidine, which is assumed to abolish the covalent bonding. The electrochemically induced FTIR difference spectra of the Tyr280His mutant point to a change in protonation state in the environment of the binuclear center. Together with an observed decrease of a signal at 1736 cm(-1), previously assigned to Glu278, a possible functional coupling is reflected. In direct comparison to the FTIR difference spectra of the D4-labeled compound and comparing the spectra at pH 7 and 4.8, the protonation state of Tyr280 is discussed. Furthermore, a detailed analysis of the mutant is presented, the FTIR spectra of the CO adduct revealing a partial loss of Cu(B). Electrochemical redox titrations reflect a downshift of the heme a3 midpoint potential by 95 +/- 10 mV. Another tyrosine identified to show redox dependent changes upon electron transfer is Tyr35, a residue in the proposed D-pathway of the cytochrome c oxidase.

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