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Cytochrome cd(1) is a respiratory enzyme that catalyzes the physiological one-electron reduction of nitrite to nitric oxide. The enzyme is a dimer, each monomer containing one c-type cytochrome center and one active site d(1) heme. We present stopped-flow Fourier transform infrared data showing the formation of a stable ferric heme d(1)-NO complex (formally d(1)Fe(II)-NO(+)) as a product of the reaction between fully reduced Paracoccus pantotrophus cytochrome cd(1) and nitrite, in the absence of excess reductant. The Fe-(14)NO nu(NO) stretching mode is observed at 1913 cm(-1) with the corresponding Fe-(15)NO band at 1876 cm(-1). This d(1) heme-NO complex is still readily observed after 15 min. EPR and visible absorption spectroscopic data show that within 4 ms of the initiation of the reaction, nitrite is reduced at the d(1) heme, and a cFe(III) d(1)Fe(II)-NO complex is formed. Over the next 100 ms there is an electron redistribution within the enzyme to give a mixed species, 55% cFe(III) d(1)Fe(II)-NO and 45% cFe(II) d(1)Fe(II)-NO(+). No kinetically competent release of NO could be detected, indicating that at least one additional factor is required for product release by the enzyme. Implications for the mechanism of P. pantotrophus cytochrome cd(1) are discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


J Biol Chem

Publication Date





33231 - 33237


Cytochromes, Heme, Iron, Nitric Oxide, Nitrite Reductases, Nitrites, Oxidation-Reduction, Paracoccus, Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared, Time Factors