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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Sep;1777(9):1218-28. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2008.04.039. Epub 2008 May 1.

His92 and His110 selectively affect different heme centers of adrenal cytochrome b(561).

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.


Adrenal cytochrome b(561) (cyt b(561)), a transmembrane protein that shuttles reducing equivalents derived from ascorbate, has two heme centers with distinct spectroscopic signals and reactivity towards ascorbate. The His54/His122 and His88/His161 pairs furnish axial ligands for the hemes, but additional amino acid residues contributing to the heme centers have not been identified. A computational model of human cyt b(561) (Bashtovyy, D., Berczi, A., Asard, H., and Pali, T. (2003) Protoplasma 221, 31-40) predicts that His92 is near the His88/His161 heme and that His110 abuts the His54/His122 heme. We tested these predictions by analyzing the effects of mutations at His92 or His110 on the spectroscopic and functional properties. Wild type cytochrome and mutants with substitutions in other histidine residues or in Asn78 were used for comparison. The largest lineshape changes in the optical absorbance spectrum of the high-potential (b(H)) peak were seen with mutation of His92; the largest changes in the low-potential (b(L)) peak lineshape were observed with mutation of His110. In the EPR spectra, mutation of His92 shifted the position of the g=3.1 signal (b(H)) but not the g=3.7 signal (b(L)). In reductive titrations with ascorbate, mutations in His92 produced the largest increase in the midpoint for the b(H) transition; mutations in His110 produced the largest decreases in DeltaA(561) for the b(L) transition. These results indicate that His92 can be considered part of the b(H) heme center, and His110 part of the b(L) heme center, in adrenal cyt b(561).

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