Transient kinetics of intracomplex electron transfer in the human cytochrome b5 reductase-cytochrome b5 system: NAD+ modulates protein-protein binding and electron transfer

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1995 Apr 20;318(2):457-64. doi: 10.1006/abbi.1995.1254.


Transient kinetics of reduction and interprotein electron transfer in the human cytochrome b5 reductase-cytochrome b5 (b5R-b5) system was studied by laser flash photolysis in the presence of 5-deazariboflavin and EDTA at pH 7.0. Flash-induced reduction of the FAD cofactor of b5R by deazariboflavin semiquinone (in the absence of b5) occurred in a rapid second-order reaction (k2 = 3.1 x 10(8) M-1 s-1) and resulted in a neutral (blue) FAD semiquinone. The heme of cytochrome b5 (in the absence of b5R) was also rapidly reduced in this system with k2 = 3.1 x 10(8) M-1 s-1. When the two proteins were mixed at low ionic strength, a strong complex was formed. Although the heme of complexed b5 could be directly reduced by deazariboflavin semiquinone, the second-order rate constant was nearly an order of magnitude smaller than that of free b5 (k2 = 3.4 x 10(7) M-1 s-1). In contrast, access to the FAD of b5R by the external reductant was decreased by considerably more than an order of magnitude (k2 < 1 x 10(7) M-1 s-1). When an excess of b5R was titrated with small increments of b5 and then subjected to laser flash photolysis in the presence of deazariboflavin/EDTA, interprotein electron transfer from the b5R FAD semiquinone to the heme of b5 could be observed. At low ionic strength (I = 16 mM), the reaction showed saturation behavior with respect to the b5 concentration, with a limiting first-order rate constant for interprotein electron transfer k1 = 375 s-1, and a dissociation constant for protein-protein transient complex formation of approximately 1 microM. The observed rate constants for interprotein electron transfer decreased 23-fold when the ionic strength was increased to 1 M, indicating a plus-minus electrostatic interaction between the two proteins. Saturation kinetics were also observed at I = 56, 96, and 120 mM, with limiting first-order rate constants of 195, 155, and 63 s-1, respectively. In the presence of NAD+, the transient protein-protein complex was stabilized by approximately a factor of two, and limiting first-order rate constants of 360 s-1 were obtained at both I = 56 mM and I = 96 mM and 235 s-1 at I = 120 mM. Thus, NAD+ appears to stabilize as well as to optimize the protein-protein complex with respect to electron transfer. Another effect of NAD+ is to appreciably slow autoxidation and disproportionation of the FAD semiquinone.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cytochrome Reductases / metabolism*
  • Cytochrome-B(5) Reductase
  • Cytochromes b5 / metabolism*
  • Edetic Acid / pharmacology
  • Electron Transport
  • Flavin-Adenine Dinucleotide / metabolism
  • Heme
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Lasers
  • NAD / metabolism*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Photolysis
  • Protein Binding
  • Riboflavin / analogs & derivatives
  • Riboflavin / pharmacology
  • Spectrophotometry


  • NAD
  • Flavin-Adenine Dinucleotide
  • 5-deazariboflavin
  • Heme
  • Cytochromes b5
  • Edetic Acid
  • Cytochrome Reductases
  • Cytochrome-B(5) Reductase
  • Riboflavin