Probing the mechanisms of macromolecular recognition: the cytochrome b5-cytochrome c complex

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  17 Jun 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4859, pp. 1657-1659
DOI: 10.1126/science.2837825


The specificity of complex formation between cytochrome b5 (cyt b5) and cytochrome c (cyt c) is believed to involve the formation of salt linkages between specific carboxylic acid residues of cyt b5 with lysine residues on cyt c. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to alter the specified acidic residues of cyt b5 to the corresponding amide analogues, which resulted in a lower affinity for complex formation with cyt c. The dissociation of the complex under high pressure resulted in specific volume changes, the magnitude of which reflected the degree of solvation of the acidic residues in the proposed protein-protein interface.