Electron transfer interactome of cytochrome C.

TitleElectron transfer interactome of cytochrome C.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsVolkov, A., and N. A. J. van Nuland
JournalPLoS Comput Biol
Date Published2012
KeywordsCytochromes c, Electron Transport, Models, Molecular, Oxidation-Reduction, Protein Binding, Signal Transduction

Lying at the heart of many vital cellular processes such as photosynthesis and respiration, biological electron transfer (ET) is mediated by transient interactions among proteins that recognize multiple binding partners. Accurate description of the ET complexes - necessary for a comprehensive understanding of the cellular signaling and metabolism - is compounded by their short lifetimes and pronounced binding promiscuity. Here, we used a computational approach relying solely on the steric properties of the individual proteins to predict the ET properties of protein complexes constituting the functional interactome of the eukaryotic cytochrome c (Cc). Cc is a small, soluble, highly-conserved electron carrier protein that coordinates the electron flow among different redox partners. In eukaryotes, Cc is a key component of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, where it shuttles electrons between its reductase and oxidase, and an essential electron donor or acceptor in a number of other redox systems. Starting from the structures of individual proteins, we performed extensive conformational sampling of the ET-competent binding geometries, which allowed mapping out functional epitopes in the Cc complexes, estimating the upper limit of the ET rate in a given system, assessing ET properties of different binding stoichiometries, and gauging the effect of domain mobility on the intermolecular ET. The resulting picture of the Cc interactome 1) reveals that most ET-competent binding geometries are located in electrostatically favorable regions, 2) indicates that the ET can take place from more than one protein-protein orientation, and 3) suggests that protein dynamics within redox complexes, and not the electron tunneling event itself, is the rate-limiting step in the intermolecular ET. Further, we show that the functional epitope size correlates with the extent of dynamics in the Cc complexes and thus can be used as a diagnostic tool for protein mobility.

Alternate JournalPLoS Comput. Biol.
PubMed ID23236271
PubMed Central IDPMC3516563
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