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Heme coordination states of unfolded ferrous cytochrome c
Citation key ISI:000240700700030
Author Droghetti, Enrica and Oellerich, Silke and Hildebrandt, Peter and Smulevich, Giulietta
Pages 3022-3031
Year 2006
ISSN 0006-3495
DOI 10.1529/biophysj.105.079749
Address 9650 ROCKVILLE PIKE, BETHESDA, MD 20814-3998 USA
Journal Biophys. J.
Volume 91
Number 8
Month OCT
Abstract The structural changes of ferrous Cyt-c that are induced by binding to SDS micelles, phospholipid vesicles, DeTAB, and GuHCl as well as by high temperatures and changes in the pH have been studied by RR and UV-Vis absorption spectroscopies. Four species have been identified in which the native methionine-80 ligand is removed from the heme iron. This coordination site is either occupied by a histidine (His-33 or His-26) to form a 6cLS configuration, which is the prevailing species in GuHCl atpH 7.0 and ambient temperature, or remains vacant to yield a 5cHS configuration. The three identified 5cHS species differ with respect to the hydrogen-bond interactions of the proximal histidine ligand (His-18) and include a nonhydrogen-bonded, a hydrogen-bonded, and a deprotonated imidazole ring. These structural motifs have been found irrespective of the unfolding conditions used. An unambiguous spectroscopic distinction of these 5cHS species is possible on the basis of the Fe-N(imidazole) stretching vibrations, the RR bands in the region between 1300 and 1650 cm(-1), and the electronic transitions in the Soret-and Q-band regions. In acid and neutral solutions, the species with a hydrogen-bonded and a nonhydrogen-bonded His-18 prevail, whereas in alkaline solutions a configuration with a deprotonated His-18 ligand is also observed. Upon lowering the pH or increasing the temperature in GuHCl solutions, the structure on the proximal side of the heme is perturbed, resulting in a loss of the hydrogen-bond interactions of the His-18 ligand. Conversely, the hydrogen-bonded His-18 of ferrous Cyt-c is stabilized by electrostatic interactions which increase in strength from phospholipid vesicles to SDS micelles. The results here suggest that unfolding of Cyt-c is initiated by the rupture of the Fe-Met-80 bond and structural reorganizations on the distal side of the heme pocket, whereas the proximal part is only affected in a later stage of the denaturation process.
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