Send to

Choose Destination
J Inorg Biochem. 2000 Jul 1;80(3-4):261-9.

O-O bond splitting mechanism in cytochrome oxidase.

Author information

Department of Physics, Stockholm University, Sweden.


Hybrid density functional theory (DFT) calculations have been used to investigate different mechanisms for O-O bond splitting in cytochrome oxidase. It is shown that the requirement for a low activation barrier for the O-O bond splitting is that two protons, apart from the tyrosine hydroxyl proton, are available at the binuclear center. A mechanism is suggested for the transformation from a species with a molecularly coordinated O2, to an O-O cleaved species with an oxo-ferryl group. The mechanism has a calculated activation barrier in reasonable agreement with experimental estimates, and the overall reaction is close to thermoneutral, in line with the requirement that the energy wasted as heat should be minimized. The rate limiting step in the mechanism occurs at the initial Fe-O2 intermediate, consistent with experimental observations that the decay of the oxy intermediate parallels the increase of the oxo product. The formation of a radical at the cross-linked tyrosine-histidine structure is a possible source for one of the electrons required in the bond cleavage process. Possible sources for the two protons are discussed, including a suggested key role for the hydroxyl group on the farnesyl side chain of heme a3.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center