Multiple Mutations in the Non-Ordered Red Ω-Loop Enhance the Membrane-Permeabilizing and Peroxidase-like Activity of Cytochrome c

Rita V. Chertkova, Alexander M. Firsov, Nadezda A. Brazhe, Evelina I. Nikelshparg, Zhanna V. Bochkova, Tatyana V. Bryantseva, Marina A. Semenova, Adil A. Baizhumanov, Elena A. Kotova, Mikhail P. Kirpichnikov, Georgy V. Maksimov, Yuriy N. Antonenko, Dmitry A. Dolgikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A key event in the cytochrome c-dependent apoptotic pathway is the permeabilization of the outer mitochondrial membrane, resulting in the release of various apoptogenic factors, including cytochrome c, into the cytosol. It is believed that the permeabilization of the outer mitochondrial membrane can be induced by the peroxidase activity of cytochrome c in a complex with cardiolipin. Using a number of mutant variants of cytochrome c, we showed that both substitutions of Lys residues from the universal binding site for oppositely charged Glu residues and mutations leading to a decrease in the conformational mobility of the red Ω-loop in almost all cases did not affect the ability of cytochrome c to bind to cardiolipin. At the same time, the peroxidase activity of all mutant variants in a complex with cardiolipin was three to five times higher than that of the wild type. A pronounced increase in the ability to permeabilize the lipid membrane in the presence of hydrogen peroxide, as measured by calcein leakage from liposomes, was observed only in the case of four substitutions in the red Ω-loop (M4 mutant). According to resonance and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, the mutations caused significant changes in the heme of oxidized cytochrome c molecules resulting in an increased probability of the plane heme conformation and the enhancement of the rigidity of the protein surrounding the heme. The binding of wild-type and mutant forms of oxidized cytochrome c to cardiolipin-containing liposomes caused the disordering of the acyl lipid chains that was more pronounced for the M4 mutant. Our findings indicate that the Ω-loop is important for the pore formation in cardiolipin-containing membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number665
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • cardi-olipin
  • heme
  • liposome leakage
  • mitochondrial cytochrome c
  • peroxidase activity
  • red Ω-loop of cytochrome c
  • resonance Raman spectroscopy
  • surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


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