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P.Hildebrandt, T.Heimburg, D.Marsh and G.L.Powell . 1990. Conformational changes in cytochrome c and cytochrome oxidase upon complex formation: A resonance Raman study. Biochemistry 29: 1661 abstract02

Abstract: The fully oxidized complex of cytochrome c and cytochrome oxidase formed at low ionic strength was studied by resonance Raman spectroscopy. The spectra of the complex and of the individual components were compared over a wide frequency range using Soret band excitation. In both partners of the complex, structural changes occur in the heme groups and in their immediate protein environment. The spectra of the complex in the 1600-1700 cm-1 frequency range were dominated by bands from the cytochrome oxidase component, whereas those in the 300-500 cm-1 range were dominated by bands from the cytochrome c component, hence allowing separation of the contributions from the two individual species. For cytochrome c, spectral changes were observed which correspond to the induction of the conformational state I and the six-coordinated low-spin configuration of state II on binding to cytochrome oxidase. While in state I the structure of cytochrome c is essentially the same as in solution, state II is characterized by a structural rearrangement of the heme pocket, leading to a weakening of the axial iron-methionine bond and an opening of the heme crevice which is situated in the center of the binding domain for cytochrome oxidase. The relative contributions of the two cytochrome c states were estimated to be approximately in the ratio 1:1 in the complex.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)