The Role of Thermodynamic Features on the Functional Activity of Electron Bifurcating Enzymes

Courtney Wise, Anastasia Ledinina, Jonathon Yuly, Jacob Artz, Carolyn Lubner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus Citations


Electron bifurcation is a biological mechanism to drive a thermodynamically unfavorable redox reaction through direct coupling with an exergonic reaction. This process allows microorganisms to generate high energy reducing equivalents in order to sustain life and is often found in anaerobic metabolism, where the energy economy of the cell is poor. Recent work has revealed details of the redox energy landscapes for a variety of electron bifurcating enzymes, greatly expanding the understanding of how energy is transformed by this unique mechanism. Here we highlight the plasticity of these emerging landscapes, what is known regarding their mechanistic underpinnings, and provide a context for interpreting their biochemical activity within the physiological framework. We conclude with an outlook for propelling the field toward an integrative understanding of the impact of electron bifurcation.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number148377
Number of pages11
JournalBBA - Bioenergetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2700-78191


  • Electron bifurcation
  • Electron transfer
  • Energy efficiency
  • Flavin
  • Quinone
  • Thermodynamic landscape


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