Electric field modulated redox-driven protonation and hydration energetics in energy converting enzymes†
Biological energy conversion is catalysed by proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) reactions that form the chemical basis of respiratory and photosynthetic enzymes. Despite recent advances in structural, biophysical, and computational experiments, the mechanistic principles of these reactions still remain elusive. Based on common functional features observed in redox enzymes, we study here generic mechanistic models for water-mediated long-range PCET reactions. We show how a redox reaction within a buried protein environment creates an electric field that induces hydration changes between the proton acceptor and donor groups, and in turn, lowers the reaction barrier and increases the thermodynamic driving forces for the water-mediated PCET process. We predict linear free energy relationships, and discuss the proposed mechanism in context of PCET in cytochrome c oxidase.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Frontiers in Proton Coupled Electron Transfer (PCET)