Approach to Interfacial and Intramolecular Electron Transfer of the Diheme Protein Cytochrome c(4) Assembled on Au(111) Surfaces

Qijin Chi, Jingdong Zhang, Arslan Taner, Lotte Borg, G. W. Pedersen, Hans Erik Mølager Christensen, R. R. Nazmudtinov, Jens Ulstrup

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Intramolecular electron transfer (ET) between metal centers is a core feature of large protein complexes in photosynthesis, respiration, and redox enzyme catalysis. The number of microscopic redox potentials and ET rate constants is, however, prohibitive for experimental cooperative ET mapping, but two-center proteins are simple enough to offer complete communication networks. At the same time, multicenter redox proteins operate in membrane environments where conformational dynamics may lead to gated ET features different from conditions in homogeneous solution. The bacterial respiratory diheme protein Pseudomonas stutzeri cytochrome c(4) has been a target for intramolecular, interheme ET. We report here voltammetric and in situ scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) data for P. stutzeri cyt c(4) at single-crystal, atomically planar Au(111)-electrode surfaces modified by variable-length omega-mercapto-alkanoic carboxylic acids. As evidenced by in situ STM, the strongly dipolar protein is immobilized in a close to vertical orientation at this surface with the positively charged high-potential heme domain adjacent to the electrode. This orientation gives asymmetric voltammograms with two one-ET peaks in the cathodic direction and a single two-ET peak in the anodic direction. Intramolecular, interheme ET with high, 8,000-30,000 s(-1), rate constants is notably an essential part of this mechanism. The high rate constants are in striking contrast to ET reactions of P. stutzeri cyt c4 with small reaction partners in homogeneous solution for which kinetic analysis clearly testifies to electrostatic cooperative effects but no intramolecular, interheme ET higher than 0.1-10 s(-1). This difference suggests a strong gating feature of the process. On the basis of the three-dimensional structure of P. stutzeri cyt c(4), gating is understandable due to the through-space, hydrogen-bonded electronic contact between the heme propionates which is highly sensitive to environmental configurational fluctuations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Part B: Condensed Matter, Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces & Biophysical
Issue number16
Pages (from-to)5617-5624
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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