2Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, P. O. Box 65, 00014 Helsinki, Finland; E-mail: email@example.com
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received July 6, 2007; Revision received July 25, 2007
Spectroelectrochemistry was used to determine the midpoint redox potentials of heme cofactors of the caa3-type cytochrome oxidase from the alkaliphilic bacterium Bacillus pseudofirmus FTU. The apparent midpoint potentials (Emapp) for the most prominent transitions of hemes a and a3 (+193 and +334 mV, respectively) were found to be similar to the values reported for other enzymes with high homology to the caa3-type oxidase. In contrast, the midpoint potential of the covalently bound cytochrome c (+89 mV) was 150-170 mV lower than in cytochromes c, either low molecular weight or covalently bound to the caa3 complex in all known aerobic neutralophilic and thermo-neutralophilic bacteria. Such an unusually low redox potential of the covalently bound cytochrome c of the caa3-type oxidase of alkaliphilic bacteria, together with high redox potentials of hemes a and a3, ensures more than twice higher difference in redox potentials inside the respiratory complex compared to the homologous mitochondrial enzyme. The energy released during this redox transition might be stored in the transmembrane H+ gradient even under low Deltap in the alkaline environment of the bacteria at the expense of a significant increase in DeltaG of the coupled redox reaction.
KEY WORDS: Bacillus pseudofirmus, alkaliphile, cytochrome c, caa3, cytochrome oxidase, redox potential