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Cytochrome c oxidases (Coxs) are the basic energy transducers in the respiratory chain of the majority of aerobic organisms. Coxs studied to date are redox-driven proton-pumping enzymes belonging to one of three subfamilies: A-, B-, and C-type oxidases. The C-type oxidases (cbb3 cytochromes), which are widespread among pathogenic bacteria, are the least understood. In particular, the proton-pumping machinery of these Coxs has not yet been elucidated despite the availability of X-ray structure information. Here, we report the discovery of the first (to our knowledge) sodium-pumping Cox (Scox), a cbb3 cytochrome from the extremely alkaliphilic bacterium Thioalkalivibrio versutus. This finding offers clues to the previously unknown structure of the ion-pumping channel in the C-type Coxs and provides insight into the functional properties of this enzyme.


Maria S Muntyan, Dmitry A Cherepanov, Anssi M Malinen, Dmitry A Bloch, Dimitry Y Sorokin, Inna I Severina, Tatiana V Ivashina, Reijo Lahti, Gerard Muyzer, Vladimir P Skulachev. Cytochrome cbb3 of Thioalkalivibrio is a Na+-pumping cytochrome oxidase. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2015 Jun 23;112(25):7695-700

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PMID: 26056262

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