Electron bifurcation, or the coupling of exergonic and endergonic oxidation-reduction reactions, was discovered by Peter Mitchell and provides an elegant mechanism to rationalize and understand the logic that underpins the Q cycle of the respiratory chain. Thought to be a unique reaction of respiratory complex III for nearly 40 years, about a decade ago Wolfgang Buckel and Rudolf Thauer discovered that flavin-based electron bifurcation is also an important component of anaerobic microbial metabolism. Their discovery spawned a surge of research activity, providing a basis to understand flavin-based bifurcation, forging fundamental parallels with Mitchell's Q cycle and leading to the proposal of metal-based bifurcating enzymes. New insights into the mechanism of electron bifurcation provide a foundation to establish the unifying principles and essential elements of this fascinating biochemical phenomenon.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry