The distal heme center in Bacillus subtilis succinate:menaquinone reductase is crucial for electron transfer to menaquinone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Succinate:quinone reductases are membrane-bound enzymes that catalyze electron transfer from succinate to quinone. Some enzymes in vivo reduce ubiquinone (exergonic reaction) whereas others reduce menaquinone (endergonic reaction). The succinate:menaquinone reductases all contain two heme groups in the membrane anchor of the enzyme: a proximal heme (heme b(P)) located close to the negative side of the membrane and a distal heme (heme b(D)) located close to the positive side of the membrane. Heme b(D) is a distinctive feature of the succinate:menaquinone reductases, but the role of this heme in electron transfer to quinone has not previously been analyzed. His28 and His113 are the axial ligands to heme b(D) in Bacillus subtilis succinate:menaquinone reductase. We have individually replaced these His residues with Leu and Met, respectively, resulting in assembled membrane- bound enzymes. The H28L mutant enzyme lacks succinate:quinone reductase activity probably due to a defective quinone binding site. The H113M mutant enzyme contains heme b(D) with raised midpoint potential and is impaired in electron transfer to menaquinone. Our combined experimental data show that the heme b(D) center, into which we include a quinone binding site, is crucial for succinate:menaquinone reductase activity. The results support a model in which menaquinone is reduced on the positive side of the membrane and the transmembrane electrochemical potential provides driving force for electron transfer from succinate via heme b(P) and heme b(D) to menaquinone.


External organisations
  • Lund University
  • Chalmers University of Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8617-8624
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Publication categoryResearch