Electron bifurcation is the recently recognized third mechanism of biological energy conservation. It simultaneously couples exergonic and endergonic oxidation-reduction reactions to circumvent thermodynamic barriers and minimize free energy loss. Little is known about the details of how electron bifurcating enzymes function, but specifics are beginning to emerge for several bifurcating enzymes. To date, those characterized contain a collection of redox cofactors including flavins and iron-sulfur clusters. Here we discuss the current understanding of bifurcating enzymes and the mechanistic features required to reversibly partition multiple electrons from a single redox site into exergonic and endergonic electron transfer paths.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry