Electron transfer pathways in a multiheme cytochrome MtrF

Hiroshi C. Watanabe, Yuki Yamashita, Hiroshi Ishikita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In MtrF, an outer-membrane multiheme cytochrome, the 10 heme groups are arranged in heme binding domains II and IV along the pseudo-C2 axis, forming the electron transfer (ET) pathways. Previous reports based on molecular dynamics simulations showed that the redox potential (Em) values for the heme pairs located in symmetrical positions in domains II and IV were similar, forming bidirectional ET pathways [Breuer M, Zarzycki P, Blumberger J, Rosso KM (2012) J Am Chem Soc 134(24):9868-9871]. Here, we present the Em values of the 10 hemes in MtrF, solving the linear Poisson-Boltzmann equation and considering the protonation states of all titratable residues and heme propionic groups. In contrast to previous studies, the Em values indicated that the ET is more likely to be downhill from domain IV to II because of localization of acidic residues in domain IV. Reduction of hemes in MtrF lowered the Em values, resulting in switching to alternative downhill ET pathways that extended to the flavin binding sites. These findings present an explanation of how MtrF serves as an electron donor to extracellular substrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2916-2921
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 14


  • Decaheme
  • Dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria
  • Flavin
  • Mtr conduit
  • Shewanella species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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