Biological electron transfer: progress and future directions.
The rich diversity among bacterial cytochromes has played a key role in the development of our understanding of biological electron transfer. Although studies to date have allowed the elucidation of the contributions of driving force, electrostatics interactions and surface topology to electron transfer kinetics in collision-dependent reactions, much remains to be learned. Little is known about intramolecular and intracomplex electron transfer. Several factors controlling intramolecular and intracomplex electron transfer can be defined. These include driving force, the distance between redox centers, the relative orientation of prosthetic groups, the nature of the intervening media and the molecular dynamics within the electron transfer complex. However, at the present time, we have only a limited understanding of the contribution of these factors to electron transfer kinetics in biologically relevant systems. Nevertheless, a wide range of techniques are now available which should soon provide the information necessary to describe in molecular terms the mechanism of intramolecular and intracomplex electron transfer. Principal among these new approaches are site-directed mutagenesis and NMR spectroscopy.
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