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Cytochrome

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Cytochrome

Cytochrome c with heme c.

Cytochromes are membrane-bound (i.e. inner mitochondrial membrane) hemeproteins containing heme groups and are primarily responsible for the generation of ATP via electron transport.

They are found either as monomeric proteins (e.g., cytochrome c) or as subunits of bigger enzymatic complexes that catalyze redox reactions.

History

Cytochromes were initially described in 1884 by MacMunn as respiratory pigments (myohematin or histohematin).[1] In the 1920s, Keilin rediscovered these respiratory pigments and named them the cytochromes, or “cellular pigments”, and classified these heme proteins, on the basis of the position of their lowest energy absorption band in the reduced state, as cytochromes a (605 nm), b (~565 nm), and c (550 nm). The UV-visible spectroscopic signatures of hemes are still used to identify heme type from the reduced bis-pyridine-ligated state, i.e., the pyridine hemochrome method. Within each class, cytochrome a, b, or c, early cytochromes are numbered consecutively, e.g. cyt c, cyt c1, and cyt c2, with more recent examples designated by their reduced state R-band maximum, e.g. cyt c559.[2]

Structure and function

The redox reactions are carried out in the proper sequence for maximum efficiency.

In the process of complexes and cofactors are involved in the chain of redox reactions, with the additional net effect that protons (H+) are transported across the mitochondrial inner membrane. The resulting transmembrane proton gradient ([protonmotive force]) is used to generate ATP, which is the universal chemical energy currency of life. ATP is consumed to drive cellular processes that require energy (such as synthesis of macromolecules, active transport of molecules across the membrane, and assembly of flagella).

Types

Several kinds of cytochrome exist and can be distinguished by spectroscopy, exact structure of the heme group, inhibitor sensitivity, and reduction potential.

Three types of cytochrome are distinguished by their prosthetic groups:

Type prosthetic group
Cytochrome a heme a
Cytochrome b heme b
Cytochrome d tetrapyrrolic chelate of iron[3]

The definition of cytochrome c is not defined in terms of the heme group.[4] There is no "cytochrome e," but there is a cytochrome f, which is often considered a type of cytochrome c.[5]

In mitochondria and chloroplasts, these cytochromes are often combined in electron transport and related metabolic pathways:

Cytochromes Combination
a and a3 Cytochrome c oxidase ("Complex IV") with electrons delivered to complex by soluble cytochrome c (hence the name)
b and c1 Coenzyme Q - cytochrome c reductase ("Complex III")
b6 and f Plastoquinol—plastocyanin reductase

A completely distinct family of cytochromes is known as the cytochrome P450 oxidases, so named for the characteristic Soret peak formed by absorbance of light at wavelengths near 450 nm when the heme iron is reduced (with sodium dithionite) and complexed to carbon monoxide. These enzymes are primarily involved in steroidogenesis and detoxification.

References

  1. ^ Mac Munn, C. A (1886). "Researches on Myohaematin and the Histohaematins". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (The Royal Society) 177 (0): 267–298.  
  2. ^ Reedy, C. J. & Gibney, B. R. (February 2004). "Heme protein assemblies". Chem Rev 104 (2): 617–49.  
  3. ^ Cytochrome d at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
  4. ^ Cytochrome c Group at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).
  5. ^ Cytochrome at eMedicine Dictionary

External links

  • Scripps Database of Metalloproteins
  • Cytochromes at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
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