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J Biol Chem. 2006 Oct 13;281(41):30925-32. Epub 2006 Aug 14.

Regulatory interactions between ubiquinol oxidation and ubiquinone reduction sites in the dimeric cytochrome bc1 complex.

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Department of Biochemistry, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA.


We have obtained evidence for conformational communication between ubiquinol oxidation (center P) and ubiquinone reduction (center N) sites of the yeast bc1 complex dimer by analyzing antimycin binding and heme bH reduction at center N in the presence of different center P inhibitors. When stigmatellin was occupying center P, concentration-dependent binding of antimycin occurred only to half of the center N sites. The remaining half of the bc1 complex bound antimycin with a slower rate that was independent of inhibitor concentration, indicating that a slow conformational change needed to occur before half of the enzyme could bind antimycin. In contrast, under conditions where the Rieske protein was not fixed proximal to heme bL at center P, all center N sites bound antimycin with fast and concentration-dependent kinetics. Additionally, the extent of fast cytochrome b reduction by menaquinol through center N in the presence of stigmatellin was approximately half of that observed when myxothiazol was bound at center P. The reduction kinetics of the bH heme by decylubiquinol in the presence of stigmatellin or myxothiazol were also consistent with a model in which fixation of the Rieske protein close to heme bL in both monomers allows rapid binding of ligands only to one center N. Decylubiquinol at high concentrations was able to abolish the biphasic binding of antimycin in the presence of stigmatellin but did not slow down antimycin binding rates. These results are discussed in terms of half-of-the-sites activity of the dimeric bc1 complex.

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