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Sensors 2012, 12(8), 10450-10462; doi:10.3390/s120810450
Article

Mechanisms for the Direct Electron Transfer of Cytochrome c Induced by Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

1,2
,
3
,
1,2
 and
3,*
1 Department of Environmental Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China 2 The Key Laboratory of Water and Sediment Sciences, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100871, China 3 School of Food and Bioengineering, Shandong Institute of Light Industry, Jinan 250353, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 June 2012 / Revised: 17 July 2012 / Accepted: 17 July 2012 / Published: 2 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
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Abstract

Multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-modified electrodes can promote the direct electron transfer (DET) of cytochrome c (Cyt c). There are several possible mechanisms that explain the DET of Cyt c. In this study, several experimental methods, including Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, circular dichroism, ultraviolet-visible absorption spectroscopy, and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy were utilized to investigate the conformational changes of Cyt c induced by MWCNTs. The DET mechanism was demonstrated at various nano-levels: secondary structure, spatial orientation, and spin state. In the presence of MWCNTs, the secondary structure of Cyt c changes, which exposes the active site, then, the orientation of the heme is optimized, revolving the exposed active center to the optimum spatial orientation for DET; and finally, a transition of spin states is induced, providing relatively high energy and a more open microenvironment for electron transfer. These changes at different nano-levels are closely connected and form a complex process that promotes the electron transfer of Cyt c.
Keywords: direct electron transfer (DET); cytochrome c (Cyt c); multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT); secondary structure direct electron transfer (DET); cytochrome c (Cyt c); multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT); secondary structure
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Zhao, H.-Z.; Du, Q.; Li, Z.-S.; Yang, Q.-Z. Mechanisms for the Direct Electron Transfer of Cytochrome c Induced by Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes. Sensors 2012, 12, 10450-10462.

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