Functional and structural role of the cytochrome b subunit of the membrane-bound hydrogenase complex of Alcaligenes eutrophus H16

Eur J Biochem. 1997 Aug 15;248(1):179-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-1033.1997.00179.x.


This study shows that the product of the hoxZ gene of Alcaligenes eutrophus H16 is a b-type cytochrome (cytochrome b(z)), which is essential for anchoring the membrane-bound hydrogenase (MBH) complex to the periplasmic side of the membrane and for H2-coupled respiration. The hoxZ product is not required for MBH translocation and H2-dependent reduction of the redox dye, 2,3,5-triphenyl-2-tetrazolium chloride. The lack of cytochrome b(z) does not affect the electron-transport activities linked to oxidation of succinate and NADH, although it enhances the electron-flow rate through the cytochrome-c oxidase pathway in hoxZdelta membranes. We show that the hoxZ product is a dihaem cytochrome b (haems with E(m7.0) of +10 mV and +166 mV) involved in H2-dependent electron transfer. We conclude that cytochrome b(z) of the A. eutrophus MBH complex is the link necessary for transfer of electrons from H2 to the ubiquinone pool and that it is required for attachment of MBH to the membrane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcaligenes / genetics
  • Alcaligenes / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cytochrome b Group / chemistry*
  • Cytochrome b Group / genetics
  • Cytochrome b Group / metabolism*
  • Electron Transport / genetics
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Hydrogenase / chemistry
  • Hydrogenase / genetics
  • Hydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Structure
  • Mutation
  • Protein Conformation


  • Cytochrome b Group
  • Hydrogenase