Cytochrome a3 structure in carbon monoxide-bound cytochrome oxidase

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Science  20 Jul 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4659, pp. 329-331
DOI: 10.1126/science.6330890


The iron-carbon monoxide stretching mode and the iron-carbon-oxygen bending mode in carbon monoxide-bound cytochrome oxidase have been assigned at 520 and 578 cm-1, respectively. The frequencies, widths, and intensities of these modes show that the Fe-C-O grouping in carbon monoxide-cytochrome a3 is linear but tilted from the normal to the heme plane; that the iron-histidine bond in both five- and six-coordinate cytochrome a3 is strained; and that the carbon monoxide and the proximal histidine each have characteristic, well-defined orientations in all molecules. These data can account for the binding affinities of carbon monoxide and dioxygen under physiological conditions.