Inhibition of cytochrome c oxidase function by dicyclohexylcarbodiimide

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1981 Sep 14;637(2):360-73. doi: 10.1016/0005-2728(81)90175-4.


Dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCCD) reacted with beef heart cytochrome c oxidase in inhibit the proton-pumping function of this enzyme and to a lesser extent to inhibit electron transfer. The modification of cytochrome c oxidase in detergent dispersion or in vesicular membranes was in subunits II-IV. Labelling followed by fragmentation studies showed that there is one major site of modification in subunit III. DCCD was also incorporated into several sites in subunit II and at least one site of subunit IV. The major site in subunit III has a specificity for DCCD at least one order of magnitude greater than that of other sites (in subunits II and IV). Its modification could account for all of the observed effects of the reagent, at least for low concentrations of DCCD. Labelling of subunit II by DCCD was blocked by prior covalent attachment of arylazidocytochrome c, a cytochrome c derivative which binds to the high-affinity binding site for the substrate. The major site of DCCD binding in subunit III was sequenced. The label was found in glutamic acid 90 which is in a sequence of eight amino acids remarkably similar to the DCCD-binding site within the proteolipid protein of the mitochondrial ATP synthetase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Carbodiimides / pharmacology*
  • Carbonyl Cyanide p-Trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone / pharmacology
  • Cattle
  • Dicyclohexylcarbodiimide / metabolism
  • Dicyclohexylcarbodiimide / pharmacology*
  • Electron Transport / drug effects
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Liposomes / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Protons
  • Valinomycin / pharmacology


  • Carbodiimides
  • Liposomes
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Protons
  • Valinomycin
  • Carbonyl Cyanide p-Trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone
  • Dicyclohexylcarbodiimide
  • Electron Transport Complex IV