Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biochimie. 1994;76(7):674-92.

The cytochrome b5-fold: an adaptable module.

Author information

  • 1CNRS-URA 1461, Hôpital Necker, Paris, France.


The family of b5-like cytochromes encompasses, besides cytochrome b5 itself, hemoprotein domains covalently associated with other redox proteins, in flavocytochrome b2 (L-lactate dehydrogenase), sulfite oxidase and assimilatory nitrate reductase. A comparison of about 40 amino acid sequences deposited in data banks shows that eight residues are invariant and about 15 positions carry strongly conservative substitutions. Examination of the location of these invariant and conserved positions in the light of the three-dimensional structures of beef cytochrome b5 and S cerevisiae flavocytochrome b2 suggests a strongly conserved protein structure for the b5-like heme-binding domain throughout evolution. Numerous NMR studies have demonstrated the existence of a positional isomerism for the heme, which involves both a 180 degree-rotation around the heme alpha,gamma-meso carbon atoms and a rotation through an axis normal to the heme plane at the iron. NMR studies did not detect significant differences in protein structure between reduced and oxidized states, or between species. The role of a number of side chains was probed by site-directed mutagenesis. Studies of complex formation and of electron transfer rates between cytochrome b5 and redox partners have led to the idea that complexation is driven by electrostatic forces, that it is generally the exposed heme edge which makes contact with electron donors and acceptors, but that there are multiple overlapping sites within this general area. For the bi- and trifunctional members of the family, extrapolation of available data would suggest a mobile heme-binding domain within a complex structure. In these cases the existence of a single interaction area for both electron donor and acceptor, or of two different ones, remains open to discussion.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

Molecular Biology Databases

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center