The unusual redox properties of C-type oxidases

Frederic Melin, Hao Xie, Thomas Meyer, Young Ok Ahn, Robert B. Gennis, Hartmut Michel, Petra Hellwig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cytochrome cbb3 (also known as C-type) oxidases belong to the family of heme-copper terminal oxidases which couple at the end of the respiratory chain the reduction of molecular oxygen into water and the pumping of protons across the membrane. They are expressed most often at low pressure of O2 and they exhibit a low homology of sequence with the cytochrome aa3 (A-type) oxidases found in mitochondria. Their binuclear active site comprises a high-spin heme b3 associated with a CuB center. The protein also contains one low-spin heme b and 3 hemes c. We address here the redox properties of cbb3 oxidases from three organisms, Rhodobacter sphaeroides, Vibrio cholerae and Pseudomonas stutzeri by means of electrochemical and spectroscopic techniques. We show that the redox potential of the heme b3 exhibits a relatively low midpoint potential, as in related cytochrome c-dependent nitric oxide reductases. Potential implications for the coupled electron transfer and proton uptake mechanism of C-type oxidases are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1892-1899
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Heme-heme interaction
  • Membrane proteins
  • Potentiometric titrations
  • Protein film voltammetry
  • Terminal oxidases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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