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Effects of nonpolar environments on the redox potentials of heme complexes

, : Effects of nonpolar environments on the redox potentials of heme complexes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 69(8): 2263-2267

A method has been described for measurement of the oxidation-reduction potentials of redox couples in nonaqueous solutions. This method has been applied to a study of the effect of a nonpolar environment on the redox potential of a heme complex. A positive potential difference of some 300 mV is observed for the measured redox potentials by comparison with reported values for the corresponding heme complex in aqueous solution. The proposal is made that the redox potentials of many high-potential cytochromes may be accounted for by a local heme environment of low-dielectric constant, characteristic of nonpolar amino-acid side chains, and that this factor may play a dominant role in the determination of the oxidation-reduction properties of these proteins.


PMID: 4506096

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