Electrochemically gated charge transport in redox proteins and photosynthetic complexes

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ICMAB Periodical Lecture

by Pau Gorostiza, ICREA Professor at Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya (IBEC)



Interprotein electron transport is an essential process in cell respiration and photosynthesis. It takes place between redox proteins and complexes, and it displays an outstanding efficiency and environmental adaptability. Although the biochemistry of electron transport processes is well characterized, nanoscale experimental methods are needed to understand electronic pathways in these redox protein structures, both for fundamental and for technological purposes. Electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy (ECSTM) is an excellent tool to study electronic materials and redox molecules including proteins. It offers single molecule resolution and allows working in aqueous solution, in nearly physiological conditions in the case of proteins, and under full electrochemical control (López-Martínez et al., 2017).

ECSTM also allows performing conductance measurements by current-potential and current-distance tunneling spectroscopy (Ruiz et al., 2017). An overview of these methods and current projects in the laboratory will be presented, with special emphasis on cytochromes of the respiratory chain (Lagunas et al., 2018) and on photosystem I complexes (López-Martínez et al., 2019; López-Ortiz et al., 2021).

Hosted by Carmen Ocal, SURFACES Group, ICMAB-CSIC


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