Cross-membrane electron transport between cofactors localized in proteins of mitochondrial respiration and bacterial photosynthesis is the source of all biological energy. The statistics and dynamics of nuclear fluctuations in these protein/membrane/water heterogeneous systems are critical for their energetic efficiency. The results of 13 μs of atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of the membrane-bound bc1 bacterial complex are analyzed here. The reaction is affected by a broad spectrum of nuclear modes, with the slowest dynamics in the range of time-scales ∼0.1-1.6 μs contributing half of the reaction reorganization energy. Two reorganization energies are required to describe protein electron transfer due to dynamical arrest of protein conformations on the observation window. This mechanistic distinction allows significant lowering of activation barriers for reactions in proteins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry