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Electrochemical properties of the interaction between cytochrome c and a hematite nanowire array electrode

by Hanyu Wang, Alexander Johs, James F Browning, David A Tennant, Liyuan Liang
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162 to 169

We investigate the interaction of horse heart cytochrome c (cyt c) with hematite nanowire array electrodes by cyclic voltammetry to study the electron transfer between redox active proteins and mineral surfaces. Using this model system, we quantify electron transfer rates between cyt c and hematite under varying electric potential and pH conditions. The results are consistent with two cyt c conformations adsorbed at the hematite surface: the native and a partially unfolded form. The partially unfolded protein maintained redox activity, but at a lower redox potential than the native protein. Adsorption of cyt c allowed direct electron transfer between cyt c and hematite, with an interfacial electron transfer rate, k°ET, of 0.4 s−1 for the native form and 0.55 s−1 for the partially unfolded protein at pH 7.07. At pH 4.66, protein adsorption decreased compared to neutral pH and the fraction of partially unfolded protein increased. Additionally, the diffusion controlled electron transfer rate between hematite and the electron shuttling compound anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS) was determined to be k°ET = 8.0·10−3 cm·s−1 at pH 7.07. Modulation of electron transfer rates as a result of conformational changes by redox active proteins has broad implications for describing chemical transformations at biological-mineral interfaces.