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Cytochrome cd(1) is a respiratory nitrite reductase found in the periplasm of denitrifying bacteria. When fully reduced Paracoccus pantotrophus cytochrome cd(1) is mixed with nitrite in a stopped-flow apparatus in the absence of excess reductant, a kinetically stable complex of enzyme and product forms, assigned as a mixture of cFe(II) d(1)Fe(II)-NO(+) and cFe(III) d(1)Fe(II)-NO (cd(1)-X). However, in order for the enzyme to achieve steady-state turnover, product (NO) release must occur. In this work, we have investigated the effect of a physiological electron donor to cytochrome cd(1), the copper protein pseudoazurin, on the mechanism of nitrite reduction by the enzyme. Our data clearly show that initially oxidized pseudoazurin causes rapid further turnover by the enzyme to give a final product that we assign as all-ferric cytochrome cd(1) with nitrite bound to the d(1) heme (i.e. from which NO had dissociated). Pseudoazurin catalyzed this effect even when present at only one-tenth the stoichiometry of cytochrome cd(1). In contrast, redox-inert zinc pseudoazurin did not affect cd(1)-X, indicating a crucial role for electron movement between monomers or individual enzyme dimers rather than simply a protein-protein interaction. Furthermore, formation of cd(1)-X was, remarkably, accelerated by the presence of pseudoazurin, such that it occurred at a rate consistent with cd(1)-X being an intermediate in the catalytic cycle. It is clear that cytochrome cd(1) functions significantly differently in the presence of its two substrates, nitrite and electron donor protein, than in the presence of nitrite alone.

Original publication




Journal article


J Biol Chem

Publication Date





12555 - 12563


Azurin, Catalysis, Cytochromes, Light, Nitric Oxide, Nitrite Reductases, Nitrites, Oxidation-Reduction, Paracoccus pantotrophus, Reducing Agents, Spectrum Analysis, Zinc