Pseudomonas AM1, Hyphomicrobium X and Pseudomonas MS all contain cytochrome a/a3 and a b-type cytochrome able to react with CO. Pseudomonas AM1 and Hyphomicrobium X also have a CO-binding cytochrome c. The purified cytochrome c (redox potential 0.26V) of Pseudomonas AM1 was not susceptible to oxidation by molecular oxygen. CO reacted slowly with the reduced form giving a CO difference spectrum with a peak at 412nm and troughs at 420nm and 550nm. Similar results were obtained with the cytochrome c of Hyphomicrobium (aerobically grown or anaerobically grown with nitrate) and with that of Pseudomonas extorquens. The results given in the present paper are incompatible with an oxygenase or oxidase function for the soluble cytochrome c of methylotrophs. Studies with whole cells of Pseudomonas AM1 and a cytochrome c-deficient mutant have demonstrated that cytochrome b (redox potential 0.009V) is the first cytochrome in the electron-transport chain for oxidation of all substrates except methanol (and ethanol) whose oxidation does not involve this cytochrome. All substrates are usually oxidized by way of cytochrome c and cytochrome oxidase (cytochrome a/a3), but there is an alternative route for the reduction of cytochrome a/a3 in the mutant lacking cytochrome c. Results of experiments on cyanide inhibition of respiration and cytochrome oxidation support the suggestion that the susceptibility of cytochrome b to oxidation by molecular oxygen (reflected in its ability to react with CO) is probably irrelevant to the normal physiology of Pseudomonas AM1.

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