- Structure-function analysis of membrane proteins by infrared spectroscopy : Porin OmpF, Porin OmpG and Betaine transporter BetP (2009)
- This study addresses the structure-function relationships of three essential membrane proteins: Porin from Paracoccus denitrificans, Porin OmpG from Eschericia coli and BetP from Corynobacterium glutamicum using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) techniques. The structure of porin from P. denitrificans is known for more than a decade; however, the mechanism for loss of functionality together with the monomerization was not clear. In this study we have addressed the role of lipids for the functionality of porin using FT-IR. OmpF porin was found to interact with the lipid molecules via the aromatic girdles surrounding the protein for functionality. In this study, molecular bonds and groups of the lipids were established as reporter groups probing at different depths of the bilayer in order to understand the interaction partner of the aromatic girdles of porins. Monomerization of the trimeric assembly of OmpF porin reconstituted in lipids is induced by increasing the temperature. Porin (OmpF) was found to be extremely stable: The secondary structure of the protein was unaltered up to the temperature-induced main transition, around 80-90 °C, above which it is denatured. However, the interaction of the aromatic girdle with the lipid molecules exhibited distinct changes at much lower temperature values (40 - 50°) where, according to the previous functional studies, monomerization and the loss of function occurs. The results are compared with OmpG porin from E.coli, for which the functional unit is a monomer. The aromatic girdle-lipid interaction was monitored by the tyrosine aromatic ring C=C vibrational mode, a universal marker for the protein stability and interaction. We have also found that the aromatic girdles of porins are interacting with the interfacial region of the lipid bilayer instead of lipid headgroups. Lipid-protein interaction was found to be not only essential for the structural stability, but also for the functionality of OmpF porin. We have also studied the structural properties of OmpG from E.coli. The structure of OmpG at two pH values has been resolved using X-ray crystallography and the channel has been proposed to attain different states at different pH values as closed (pH < 5.5) and open (pH >7.5). This study, using IR spectroscopy, revealed that the pH-induced opening and closing of the channel is reflected by the frequency shifts of the ? sheet structure. OmpG has more rigid ? barrel properties upon opening of the channel. IR spectral analysis revealed multiple ? sheet signals with different hydrogen bond strengths. This enabled us to monitor the formation of hydrogen bridges between the extracellular loops upon opening of the channel. The conclusion that OmpG porin having two states at different pH values was also confirmed by the three mutants where the role of the histidine pair (H231 & H261) and loop 6 has been addressed. Temperature-profiling of the wild type (WT) protein and the mutants did not show pH dependent structural stability differences in detergent solution. However, the WT protein was found to be more stable in the open form in 2D crystals than the closed form. Reconstitution into lipids has increased the transition temperature value by ~20 °C in the closed state and ~25 °C in the open state. Therefore we conclude that the open and closed state of OmpG has structural stability differences that are only revealed in the lipid environment. A comparison of the transition temperature values of OmpG WT and the mutants suggested that the hydrogen bond network among S218-H231-H261-D267, together with the formation of 12 residue-long ?-sheet contributes to the structural stability of the open channel. In the process of closing and opening of the channel, the globular structure of the protein remains mainly unchanged, while there are changes in the side chain moieties. In addition to the role of the histidine pair and the loop L6, in situ opening/closing experiments showed that the negatively charged amino acids, i.e. Asp and Glu, and Arg residues also play an active role; possibly by interacting with each other inside the pore lumen. Therefore it could be concluded that the closure of the channel at acidic pH values is not only via closing the channel entrance by loop 6, but also via changing the electric potential inside the lumen due to the different states of charged amino acids in order to effectively block the gateway. BetP from C.glutamicum attains an active and inactive state in order to adjust its glycine betaine uptake rate to the osmotic conditions that the cell encounters. The structure of BetP is not yet available. The WT protein exhibited structural differences in the presence of excess K+, which is one of the activation conditions. In 2D crystals, increasing the ionic strength to 700 mM K+ was shown to induce changes in the ?-helical moiety with contributions from the ester groups and one Tyr residue using ATR-FTIR. An increase in ionic strength to 220 mM K+ was found to be the threshold value of potassium concentration ([K+]) where the protein exhibits structural alterations in detergent solution. The determined [K+] values are in good agreement with the previous functional studies. However, there are differences in the activation profile of BetP in 2D crystals and in detergent solution, which points out that the lipids are involved in the conformational transition from the inactive to the active state and their absence can lead to different structural properties. BetP WT was found to have ~65% alpha-helix, ~25% random coil and ~10% turn structure in detergent solution. In the presence of excess K+, the WT protein is found to adapt more unordered structure. Secondary structure analysis of the mutants revealed that both the N- and C-terminus are in ?-helical conformation. Reconstitution of WT protein in 2D crystals increased the main transition (denaturation) temperature value from ~62 °C to ~85 °C, a clear indication that the protein is more stable in lipid environment. Temperature-profiling of the two forms of the WT protein revealed that the structural breakdown is preceeded by monomerization of the trimeric assembly. Comparing the two forms of the WT protein and the mutant BetA, we conclude that the oligomeric status is stabilized via the interactions among hydrophilic regions involving the N terminus. H/D exchange and activation with excess K+ in D2O-buffer revealed that activation of the protein involves the interaction of Arg and Asp/Glu residues in the cytoplasmic region of the protein. BetP WT and the two mutants tested, i.e. BetA and BetP?C45, showed differences in protein packing upon activation. The WT protein and BetP?C45 mutant also show changes in the hydrogen bonding properties of turns. Since BetA does not show such a property in activation, we conclude that the N-terminus interacts with the loops in the inactive state via the interaction of charged amino acids for the WT protein and that this interaction is altered during the activation. It could be argued that the protein packing is affected via the changes in turns upon activation. We also have found experimental evidence that one Tyr residue has different orientations in the active and inactive state of BetP. Based on the previous functional studies, it could be one of the five Tyr residues in the cytoplasmic region of the protein (in loop 3, 6, 7 or C-terminus). The mutant BetP?C45, on the other hand, showed fewer differences between the active and inactive state conditions and based on the H/D exchange rates, the mutant shows the properties of an active WT protein, proving that the C-terminal truncation impairs the conformational transition between the active and inactive states.
- Investigation of coupled electron and proton transfer in the quinol : fumarate reductase from Wolinella succinogenes with electrochemically induced FTIR and VIS difference spectroscopy and multiconformation continuum electrostatic calculations (2004)
- The enzyme quinol:fumarate reductase (QFR) from the anaerobic e-proteobacterium Wolinella succinogenes is part of the anaerobic respiratory system of this organism. It couples the reduction of fumarate to succinate to the oxidation of menaquinol to menaquinone. W. succinogenes uses fumarate as terminal electron acceptor and can use various substrates (e.g., formate or molecular hydrogen) as electron donors. The concerted catalytic substrate turnover of either a hydrogenase or a formate dehydrogenase in conjunction with QFR contributes to the generation of an electrochemical potential gradient across the bacterial plasma membrane, which is used for the phosphorylation of ADP with inorganic phosphate, Pi, to ATP. In addition to an FAD (in subunit A) and three iron-sulfur clusters (in subunit B), QFR binds a low- and a high-potential heme b group in its transmembrane subunit C, as was ultimately shown in the crystal structure at 2.2 Å resolution (Lancaster et al., 1999, Nature 402, 377– 385). Both hemes are part of the electron transport chain between the two catalytic sites of this redox enzyme. The midpoint potentials of the hemes are well established but their assignment to the distal and proximal positions in the structure had not yet been determined. Furthermore, QFR from W. succinogenes has been proposed to exhibit a novel coupling mechanism of transmembrane electron and proton transfer, which has been described in the so-called “E-pathway” hypothesis (Lancaster, 2002, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1565, 215–231). The aim of this project was to characterize the relationship between structure and function of QFR and to investigate the details of the proposed coupling mechanism (“Epathway”) with the help of computer-based electrostatic calculations on the QFR wild-type (WT) coordinates, and electrochemically induced FTIR and VIS difference spectroscopy on the QFR WT and available variant enzymes (in particular enzyme variant E180Q, in which the glutamic acid at position C180 has been replaced by a glutamine). 1.) It was demonstrated in this study that the diheme-containing QFR exhibits stable and reproducible electrochemically induced FTIR difference bands in the midinfrared range from 1800 cm-1 to 1000 cm-1 that reflect transitions from the reduced to the oxidized state of the enzyme. The spectral features that were observed in the FTIR difference spectra are fully reversible when changing from a reductive to an oxidative reference potential at the working electrode and vice versa. This indicates that the underlying redox reactions of the enzyme at the gold grid working electrode are also fully reversible under the applied experimental conditions. The same reversible spectral redox behavior in the visible range could also be ascertained for the Soret- and a-band of the two heme b groups of QFR. This behavior allowed to reliably determine the heme b midpoint potentials of QFR at various pH values. Analysis of the FTIR difference spectra in the amide I range yields evidence for structural reorganizations of the polypeptide backbone upon the electrochemically induced redox reaction. 2.) The redox titrations of the high- and low-potential heme b of QFR as simulated by multiconformation continuum electrostatics (MCCE) calculations showed a very high level of agreement with respect to the experimentally observed midpoint potentials of the heme b groups at pH 7. As determined with the help of the theoretical calculations, prominent features governing the differences in redox potential between the two hemes are the higher loss of reaction field energy for the proximal heme and the stronger destabilization of the oxidized form of the proximal heme due to several buried and ionized Arg and Lys residues. The explicit incorporation of crystallographically identified water molecules in the calculations had a noticeable effect on the absolute values of the determined midpoint potentials, although the relative difference of the two obtained midpoints did not change significantly. The results of the electrostatic calculations clearly showed that the lowpotential heme corresponds to the distal position bD in the structure, and that the high-potential heme is identical to the proximal heme bP. This assignment could previously not be achieved unequivocally with experimental methods. 3.) In addition, the currently discussed mechanism of coupled electron and proton transfer in the QFR of W. succinogenes (i.e., the “E-pathway” hypothesis) is further supported by the results of this study. The simulations of intermediate states of electron transfer via the heme b groups show that the protonation state of the key amino acid residue Glu C180 depends on the redox states of the heme groups as suggested in the “E-pathway” hypothesis. This result yields a possible mechanism for the coupling of transient transmembrane proton transfer via Glu C180 to the electron transfer via the heme b groups, since Glu C180 could be part of a “proton wire” and its redox-dependent protonation state could serve as the regulatory element of the “E-pathway”. Furthermore, the results of simulated heme reduction indicate that the side chain of Glu C180 also changes its conformation with respect to the redox state of the hemes. Both major results concerning the role of Glu C180, the change of protonation as well as the reorientation of the side chain upon reduction of the heme groups, are consistent with the results from electrochemically induced FTIR difference spectroscopy: Of particular interest was the spectral range above 1710 cm-1, where C=O stretching vibrations of protonated COOH carboxyl groups absorb, because those groups can act as proton donors, respectively acceptors, and can be involved in intra-protein proton transfer reactions. It was possible to observe signals of such protonated carboxyl groups originating from QFR enzyme, which either change their protonation state and/or experience an environmental change in the course of the induced redox reaction. This finding was supported by the fact that the relevant FTIR difference signals are sensitive to an isotopic hydrogen/deuterium (1H/2H) exchange via the buffer solution, since they were shifted towards lower wavenumbers in D2O. Furthermore, it could be shown with the help of site-directed mutagenesis that the acidic residue Glu C180, which is located in the membranespanning, diheme-containing subunit C of QFR, is contributing to the redox dependent signal of protonated carboxyl groups. The observed residual signal in the FTIR double-difference spectrum of QFR wild-type and enzyme variant E180Q (Glu C180 has been replaced with a Gln residue) could be interpreted as a protonation/deprotonation event that is superimposed by an environmental effect on the specific C=O vibration. This result strongly supports the proposed “E-pathway” of coupled transmembrane electron and proton transfer in the QFR enzyme, which states that residue Glu C180 is an essential constituent of a transient redox-controlled transmembrane proton transfer pathway. 4.) As a second possible constituent of the suggested “E-pathway”, the ring C propionate of the distal heme was found to be unusually fully protonated in all simulated redox states, indicating a possible role as a transient proton donor/acceptor in the “E-pathway”. Similarly to Glu C180, experimental evidence from FTIR difference spectroscopy on a modified QFR with 13C-labeled heme propionates was obtained, which indicates an involvement of at least one of the two propionates of heme bD in proton transfer. The observed signals can tentatively be interpreted as a redox-coupled (de)protonation of the ring C propionate of bD, which is possibly xiii superimposed by a conformational or environmental change of the specific propionate. 5.) Also the observation of a strong redox Bohr effect for both heme b groups in QFR is in line with the proposed “E-pathway” hypothesis, as this effect yields a possible and well-established mechanism for the coupling of proton transfer and redox changes of the heme groups. The comparison of the observed effect in QFR WT and E180Q together with the results from FTIR spectroscopy and MCCE calculation indicate that the ring C propionate of the distal heme is dominating the pHdependence of the midpoint potential of bD, and that the corresponding group for bP is Glu C180. The origin of the redox Bohr effect for bP in the enzyme variant E180Q (which is dramatically changed with respect to the WT) could not be identified unequivocally, but the observation of this redox Bohr effect in the variant implies the presence of other protolytic groups, which interact with heme bP and which may be necessary for a functional “E-pathway”.
- Spectroscopic investigation of stability, unfolding and refolding of outer membrane protein porin from Paracoccus denitrificans (2004)
- Stability, unfolding and refolding of the outer membrane protein porin from Paracoccus denitrificans was investigated using genetic and spectroscopic methods. Structural and functional activity studies on wild type and mutant porins: The site-directed mutants were constructed based on conserved residues and evidences on the role of certain amino acids from previous studies with OmpF. Secondary structure analysis of wild type and mutants E81Q, W74C, E81Q/D148N, E81Q/D148N/W74C by FTIR and CD spectroscopy are in line with the fact that porins are predominantly ß-sheet structure. The functional activity studies by black lipid bilayer techniques showed that the wild type and mutants W74C, E81Q/D148N, E81Q/D148N/W74C have a conductance of 3.25 nS. For mutant E81Q conductance of 1.25nS was more predominant over 3.25 nS. The activity of the mutants was observed to be far less than the wild type. This indicates that structural similarities does not implies similar functional activity. Thermal stability analysis of porin in detergent micelles and reconstituted into liposomes: Thermal stability analysis of wild type and mutants in detergent micelles showed changes in secondary and quaternary structure. It was found that wild type porin unfolds into aggregated structure with a high transition temperature of 86.2 °C. For mutants E81Q, W74C, E81Q/D148N the transition temperature was found to be 84.2 °C, 80.3 °C and 80.2 °C respectively. Functional activity assays at high temperatures revealed that the protein tends to loose its activity on heating up to 50 °C. This shows that structural stability does not imply functionality in the case of porins. Thermal stability analysis of porin reconstituted into liposomes showed that there was no change in the secondary and quaternary structure of the protein up to 100 °C, revealing that the protein becomes more thermostable when it is reconstituted into liposomes. Refolding of aggregated porin: This study shows that disaggregation of ß-sheet membrane protein porin is possible by changing its chemical and thermodynamic parameters. An increase of the solution pH to 12 or above results in opening up of the aggregated protein into unordered structure, as observed by FTIR and CD spectroscopy. This unordered structure could be refolded into native-like structure forming trimers. The secondary structure of the refolded protein deviated slightly from the native one. The thermal stability analysis of the native-like refolded proteins showed that the unfolding pattern is entirely different when compared to the native porins. pH dependent unfolding of porin: Thermal stability of porin at different pH values showed that the protein is stable in a pH range of 1-11. At pH 12 and above the protein unfolds into unordered structure instead of aggregating. The high pH unfolding of porin is a reversible process. The secondary structure of the refolded protein varied slightly from the native-one. Whereas thermal stability was entirely different. This shows that even though the unfolding of porin at high pH is reversible, it results in changes in local interaction between the amino acids resulting in a difference in stability. Unfolding in presence of urea and guanidinium hydrochloride (GuHCl): Denaturation of porin in the presence of chemical denaturants like urea and GuHCl showed that porin unfold into unordered structure. The unfolding is a reversible process. Unfolded protein was refolded into detergent micelles and liposomes. Refolding into detergent micelles was faster compared to refolding into liposomes, as seen by kinetic gel shift assays. The refolding into liposomes showed the presence of intermediates similar to those reported for OmpF. This study shows the difference in thermal stability of the outer membrane protein porin from Paracoccus denitrificans in detergent micelles and native-like liposomes. It suggests various unfolding pathways, which can be further investigated for unfolding and refolding kinetics. This report also suggests that it is possible to refold a heat-aggregated protein.
- New methods towards the prediction of the structure of transmembrane proteins and the simulation of helix-dynamics on large time-scales (2004)
- Transmembrane proteins play crucial roles in biological systems as active or passive channels and receptors. Experimentally only few structures could be determined so far. Gaining structural insights enables besides a general understanding of biological mechanisms also further processing such as in drug design. Due to the lack of experimental data, reliable theoretical predictions would be of high value. However, for the same reason, missing data, the knowledge-based class of prediction methods that is well established for soluble proteins can not be applied. The goal of predicting transmembrane protein structures with ab initio methods demands locating the free energy minimum. Main difficulties here are, first, the computational costs of explicitly calculating all involved interactions and, second, providing an algorithm that is capable of finding the minimum within an extremely complex and rugged energy landscape. We have developed promising energy functions that describe the interactions of amino acids on a residue level, reducing computational costs while still containing most information on the atomistic level. We have also found a way to describe the interaction of the residues with its surrounding in a realistic manner by distinguishing residues exposed to the environment from those buried within helices using a sphere algorithm. The sphere algorithm can also be applied for a different purpose: one can measure how densely sidechains are packed for certain helical conformations, and thereby get an estimate of the sidechain entropy. In addition, overcrowding effects can be identified which are not well-described by the energy functions due to the pairwise calculation. To determine the absolute free energy minimum, we assume the helices to be located on an equidistance grid with slightly larger distances than to be expected. Optimizing the helices on the grid provides a starting point that should enable common minimizing algorithms, gradient-based or not, to find the absolute minimum beyond the grid. To simulate the dynamics of the helices on large time scales, we split them into rigid body dynamics and internal dynamics in terms of the dihedrals. The former one is well-known with its inherent problem of numerical drift and plenty of approaches to it, among which we have chosen the quaternions to represent the rotation of the rigid bodies. The latter one requires a detailed analysis of the torque size exerted on the dihedrals caused by the forces acting on the residues.
- Molecular dynamics simulations and hydrogen-bonded network dynamics of cytochrome c oxidase from Paracoccus denitrificans (2003)
- Cytochrome c oxidase is the terminal enzyme in the respiratory chain of mitochondria and aerobic bacteria. This enzyme ultimately couples electron transfer from cytochrome c to an oxygen molecule with proton translocation across the inner mitochondrial and bacterial membrane. This reaction requires complicated chemical processes to occur at the catalytic site of the enzyme in coordination with proton translocation, the exact mechanism of which is not known at present. The mechanisms underlying oxygen activation, electron transfer and coupling of electron transfer to proton translocation are the main questions in the field of bioenergetics. The major goal of this work was to investigate the coupling of electron transfer and proton translocation in cytochrome c oxidase from Paracoccus denitrificans. Different theoretical approaches have been used to investigate the coupling of electron and proton transfer. This thesis presents an internal water prediction scheme in the enzyme and a molecular dynamics study of cytochrome c oxidase from Paracoccus denitrificans in the fully oxidized state, embedded in a fully hydrated dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine lipid bilayer membrane. Two parallel molecular dynamics simulations with different levels of protein hydration, 1.125 ns each in length, were carried out under conditions of constant temperature and pressure using three-dimensional periodic boundary conditions and full electrostatics to investigate the distribution and dynamics of water molecules and their corresponding hydrogen-bonded networks inside cytochrome c oxidase. The average number of solvent sites in the proton conducting K- and D- pathways was determined. The highly fluctuating hydrogen-bonded networks, combined with the significant diffusion of individual water molecules provide a basis for the transfer of protons in cytochrome c oxidase, therefore leading to a better understanding of the mechanism of proton pumping. The importance of the hydrogen bonding network and the possible coupling of local structural changes to larger scale changes in the cytochrome c oxidase during the catalytic cycle have been shown.
- Cytochrom bc 1 : eine Studie zum Elektronentransfer der bc 1-Komplexe des Bakteriums Paracoccus denitrificans und der Hefe Saccharomyces cerevisiae mittels elektrochemisch induzierter Differenzspektroskopie (2004)
- Mapping the interactions between ATP and the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca 2 + -ATPase with ATP and ATP analogs studied by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (2003)
- Ligandenbindung und -dynamik bei Oxidasen : IR-spektroskopische Untersuchungen kinetischer und thermodynamischer Eigenschaften (2002)
- Fourier-Transform Infrarot Differenz Spektroskopie ist eine Methode. die es erlaubt, selbst kleinste konformelle Änderungen in der Umgebung der katalytischen Zentren in Enzymen selektiv und mit hoher Zeitauflösung zu messen. Diese Technik wurde an Oxidasen von Paracoccus denitrificans, Thermus thermophilus und Escherichia coli angewandt, um einen Einblick in strukturelle und molekulare Prozesse der Bindung und Dynamik von Liganden am binuklearen Zentrum zu erhalten. Die pH- und Temperatur-Abhängigkeit von CO Schwingungsmoden sowie deren Verhalten nach der Photolyse konnten zeitaufgelöst untersucht und miteinander verglichen werden. Bei Temperaturen >180K war die Bestimmung von thermodynamischen Parametern wie Enthalpie-Barrieren und Arrhenius-Vorfaktoren möglich. Aus dem Verlauf der Rückbindungskinetiken ließen sich ferner Rückschlüsse über die konformelle Heterogenität der Bindung ziehen. Für Temperaturen um 140K konnte das Protein im "quasistationären" Zustand vermessen werden, da Rückreaktionen des Liganden an die Bindungsstelle des Häm a3 unterbunden waren. Trotz der strukturellen Ähnlichkeit und analoger Funktion zeigten diese typischen Oxidasen große Unterschiede sowohl im Reaktionszentrum als auch im kinetischen Verhalten des Liganden. Die kinetischen Parameter für alle untersuchten Oxidasen weichen deutlich voneinander ab und spiegeln unter anderem die Stärke der Bindung am CUB wider. Die Temperaturabhängigkeit der Populationen der CO-Konformere und die äquivalente Rückbindungs-Kinetik der unterschiedlichen Konformere in den Oxidasen aus dem thermophilen System weisen auf ein strukturelles Merkmal in der Nähe des binuklearen Zentrums hin, das den Populations-Austausch in anderen Oxidasen unterbindet. Aufgrund der pH-Abhängigkeit der entsprechenden Oxidasen kann man schließen, daß diese Eigenschaft durch eine oder mehrere protonierbare Gruppen bewirkt wird, die die unterschiedlichen Konformere in bestimmten Positionen fixiert hält. Die Rückbindungsraten des Liganden zeigen für die T. thermophilus Oxidasen eine Rückbindung erster Ordnung. was auf eine homogene Verteilung der zwei Konformer-Populationen im Enzym deutet. Hingegen zeigte die Oxidase aus P. denitrificans für die Rückbindung eine Verteilung der Reaktionsraten. Ursache dafür ist ein sehr heterogenes Ensemble an Proteinen, das minimale strukturelle Unterschiede im Konformationsraum des Reaktionszentrums aufweist. Ein weiterer Aspekt der Arbeit war die Beobachtung von Absorptionsbanden der Hämpropionate an Cytochrome c Oxidase von Paracoccus denitrificans nach CO Rückbindung. Sowohl über 13C-isotopenmarkierte Hämpropionate als auch über ortsgerichtete Mutagenese in deren unmittelbarer Umgebung konnten definierte Banden-Zuordnungen im IR-Differenzspektrum erhalten werden. Experimente am Enzym mit Mutationen an der Stelle Asp 399 zeigten, daß die strukturellen Eigenschaften des Häm a3-CuB Zentrums im wesentlichen von dieser Veränderung nicht beeinflußt werden. Jedoch war die pH-Abhängigkeit der CO Konformere hier unterbunden, was auf deren Einfluß auf eine Protonierbarkeit im Wildtyp-Enzym hinweist. Rückschlüsse anhand der Mutante Asp399Asn zeigten (über den Verlust der pH-Abhängigkeit) ganz klar, daß alle unterschiedlichen CO-Konformere funktionell intakt sind. FT-IR Messungen an einem weiteren Enzym, der isolierten Cytochrom bd Oxidase aus E. coli, zeigten bei einer Untersuchung der CO Rückbindungs-Eigenschaften bei 84K die ausschließliche Rückbindung an das Häm d. der möglichen Sauerstoff-Bindungsstelle. Die Bindungsstelle an Häm b, die zu ca. 5% ebenfalls CO bindet, kann bei diesen Temperaturen nicht wiederbesetzt werden. Im typischen Spektralbereich von 1680 bis 1760 cm hoch minus 1 konnten eindeutig die Absorptionsbanden von Asparagin- oder Glutaminsäure-Seitenketten identifiziert werden. Über einen direkten Vergleich der Spektren, die über Redox-Reaktion und CO Rückbindung erhalten wurden, konnten diese Signale als klar in der direkten Umgebung des binuklearen Zentrums lokalisiert zugeordnet werden. Eine Rolle als vorübergehender Protonen-Akzeptor/Donor auf dem Weg zur Sauerstoff-Bindungsstelle ist naheliegend.