, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 251-257
Date: 11 Jul 2009

Evolutionary alkaline transition in human cytochrome c

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Abstract

Conformational transitions in cytochrome c (cyt c) are being realized to be responsible for its multi-functions. Among a number of conformational transitions in cyt c, the alkaline transition has attracted much attention. The cDNA of human cyt c is cloned by RT-PCR and a high-effective expression system for human cyt c has been developed in this study. The equilibrium and kinetics of the alkaline transition of human cyt c have been systematically investigated for the first time, and compared with those of yeast and horse cyt c from an evolutionary perspective. The pKa value for the alkaline transition of human cyt c is apparently higher than that of yeast and horse. Kinetic studies suggest that it is increasingly difficult for the alkaline transition of cyt c from yeast, horse and human. Molecular modeling of human cyt c shows that the omega loop where the lysine residue is located apparently further away from heme in human cyt c than in yeast iso-1 and horse heart cyt c. These results regarding alkaline conformational transition provide valuable information for understanding the molecular basis for the biological multi-functions of cyt c.