Electronic coupling between heme electron-transfer centers and its decay with distance depends strongly on relative orientation

Dayle M.A. Smith, Kevin M. Rosso, Michel Dupuis, Marat Valiev, T. P. Straatsma

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36 Citations (Scopus)


A method for calculating the electron-transfer matrix element V RP using density functional theory Kohn-Sham orbitals is presented and applied to heme dimers of varying relative orientation. The electronic coupling decays with increased iron separation according to VRP = V0RP exp(-βr/2) with a distance dependence parameter β ≈ Å-1 for hemes with parallel porphyrins and either 1.1 or 4.0 Å-1 when the porphyrin planes are perpendicular, depending on the alignment of the iron dπ orbital. These findings are used to interpret the observed orientation of the hemes in tetraheme redox proteins such as Flavocytochrome c3 fumarate reductase (Ifc 3, PDB code 1QJD) of Shewanella frigidimarina, another flavocytochrome from the same bacterium (Fcc3, 1E39) and a small tetraheme cytochrome of Shewanella oneidensis strain MR1 (1M1P). Our results show that shifting and rotating the hemes controls the adiabaticity of the three electron hopping steps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15582-15588
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - Aug 10 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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