To study how proline residues affect the dynamics of Ω-loop D (residues 70 to 85) of cytochrome c, we prepared G83P and G83A variants of yeast iso-1-cytochrome c (iso-1-Cytc) in the presence and absence of a K73H mutation. Ω-loop D is important in controlling both the electron transfer function of Cytc and the peroxidase activity of Cytc used in apoptosis because it provides the Met80 heme ligand. The G83P and G83A mutations have no effect on the global stability of iso-1-Cytc in presence or absence of the K73H mutation. However, both mutations destabilize the His73-mediated alkaline conformer relative to the native state. pH jump stopped-flow experiments show that the dynamics of the His73-mediated alkaline transition are significantly enhanced by the G83P mutation. Gated electron transfer studies show that the enhanced dynamics result from an increased rate of return to the native state, whereas the rate of loss of Met80 ligation is unchanged by the G83P mutation. Thus, the G83P substitution does not stiffen the conformation of the native state. Because bis-His heme ligation occurs when Cytc binds to cardiolipin-containing membranes, we studied the effect of His73 ligation on the peroxidase activity of Cytc, which acts as an early signal in apoptosis by causing oxygenation of cardiolipin. We find that the His73 alkaline conformer suppresses the peroxidase activity of Cytc. Thus, the bis-His ligated state of Cytc formed upon binding to cardiolipin is a negative effector for the peroxidase activity of Cytc early in apoptosis.
- Alkaline conformational transition
- Conformationally-gated electron transfer
- Cytochrome c
- Peroxidase activity
- Protein dynamics