Fluorescence quenching of reconstituted NCD-4-labeled cytochrome c oxidase complex by DOXYL-stearic acids. Academic Article uri icon


  • It has been known for some time that dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCCD) inhibits the proton translocation function of the cytochrome c oxidase complex (CcO) and that there is one major site in subunit III which is modified upon reaction with DCCD (Glu-90 for the bovine enzyme). We have examined the reaction of bovine CcO with N-cyclohexyl-N'-(4-dimethylamino-alpha-napthyl)carbodiimide (NCD-4), a fluorescent analog of DCCD. NCD-4 labeling of CcO is strongly inhibited by DCCD implicating Glu-90 of subunit III as the site of chemical modification by NCD-4. The fluorescence of reconstituted NCD-4-labeled bovine CcO is strongly quenched by hydrophobic nitroxides, whereas hydrophilic nitroxides and iodide ions have a reduced quenching ability. It is concluded that the Glu-90 of subunit III resides near the protein-lipid interface of the membrane spanning region of the enzyme. Different quenching abilities of 5-, 7-, 10-, 12-, and 16-4,4-dimethyl-3-oxazolinyloxy-stearic acids suggest that the NCD-4 label is located in the membrane bilayer in the region near the middle of the hydrocarbon tail of stearic acid. In light of these results, it is unlikely that Glu-90 is part of a proton channel that is associated with the proton pumping machinery of the enzyme but the outcome of this study does not eliminate an allosteric regulatory role for this residue.

published proceedings

  • Biophys J

author list (cited authors)

  • Musser, S. M., Larsen, R. W., & Chan, S. I.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Musser, SM||Larsen, RW||Chan, SI

publication date

  • December 1993