The interaction of bovine microsomal ferricytochrome b5 with yeast iso-1-ferri and ferrocytochrome c has been investigated using heteronuclear NMR techniques. Chemical-shift perturbations for 1H and 15N nuclei of both cytochromes, arising from the interactions with the unlabeled partner proteins, were used for mapping the interacting surfaces on both proteins. The similarity of the binding shifts observed for oxidized and reduced cytochrome c indicates that the complex formation is not influenced by the oxidation state of the cytochrome c. Protein-protein docking simulations have been performed for the binary cytochrome b5-cytochrome c and ternary (cytochrome b5)-(cytochrome c)2 complexes using a novel HADDOCK approach. The docking procedure, which makes use of the experimental data to drive the docking, identified a range of orientations assumed by the proteins in the complex. It is demonstrated that cytochrome c uses a confined surface patch for interaction with a much more extensive surface area of cytochrome b5. Taken together, the experimental data suggest the presence of a dynamic ensemble of conformations assumed by the proteins in the complex.
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