(Chemical Equation Presented) Cytochrome c (cyt c), a mitochondrial intermembrane electron shuttle between complexes III and IV, can, upon binding with an anionic phospholipid, cardiolipin (CL), act as a peroxidase that catalyzes cardiolipin oxidation. H2O2 was considered as a source of oxidative equivalents for this reaction, which is essential for programmed cell death. Here we report that peroxidase cyt c/CL complexes can utilize free fatty acid hydroperoxides (FFA-OOH) at exceptionally high rates that are ∼3 orders of magnitude higher than for H2O2. Similarly, peroxidase activity of murine liver mitochondria was high with FFA-OOH. Using EPR spin trapping and LC-MS techniques, we have demonstrated that cyt c/CL complexes split FFA-OOH predominantly via a heterolytic mechanism, yielding hydroxy-fatty acids, whereas H2O2 (and tert-butyl hydroperoxide, t-BuOOH) undergo homolytic cleavage. Computer simulations have revealed that Arg38 and His33 are important for the heterolytic mechanism at potential FFA-OOH binding sites of cyt c (but not for H2O2 or t-BuOOH). Regulation of FFA-OOH metabolism may be an important function of cyt c that is associated with elimination of toxic FFA-OOH and synthesis of physiologically active hydroxy-fatty acids in mitochondria.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry