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Long distance electron transfer through the aqueous solution between redox partner proteins

AuthorsLagunas, Anna; Guerra-Castellano, Alejandra CSIC ORCID; Nin-Hill, Alba; Díaz Moreno, Irene; Rosa, Miguel A. de la CSIC ORCID; Samitier, Josep; Rovira, Carme; Gorostiza, Pau
Issue Date4-Dec-2018
PublisherSpringer Nature
CitationNature Communications 9: 1 (2018)
AbstractDespite the importance of electron transfer (ET) between redox proteins in photosynthesis and respiration, the inter-protein ET rate between redox partner proteins has never been measured as a function of their separation in aqueous solution. Here we use electrochemical tunneling spectroscopy to show that the current between two protein partners decays along more than 10 nm in the solution. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal a reduced ionic density and extended electric field in the volume confined between the proteins. The distance-decay factor and the calculated local barrier for ET are regulated by the electrochemical potential applied to the proteins. Redox partners could use electrochemically gated, long distance ET through the solution in order to conciliate high ET specificity with weak binding, thus keeping high turnover rates in the crowded environment of cells.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07499-x
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