Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 177–188

Coordination dynamics of heme-copper oxidases. The ligand shuttle and the control and coupling of electron transfer and proton translocation

  • William H. Woodruff

DOI: 10.1007/BF00762859

Cite this article as:
Woodruff, W.H. J Bioenerg Biomembr (1993) 25: 177. doi:10.1007/BF00762859


Results are presented which, taken with evidence developed by others, suggest a general mechanism for the entry and binding of exogenous ligands (including O2) at the “binuclear site” (CuB Fea3) of the heme-copper oxidases. The mechanism includes a “ligand shuttle” wherein the obligatory waystation for incoming ligands is CuB and the binding of exogenous ligands at this site triggers the exchange and displacement of endogenous ligands at Fea3. It is suggested that these ligand shuttle reactions might be functionally important in providing a coupling mechanism for electron transfer and proton translocation. Scenarios as to how this might happen are delineated.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • William H. Woodruff
    • 1
  1. 1.Spectroscopy and Biochemistry Group, INC-14Los Alamos National LaboratoryLos Alamos