Intrinsic and lipid phase transition-induced conformational changes in cytochrome oxidase in phosphatidylcholine vesicle and solubilized systems were examined by the fluorescence lifetime of N-(1-anilinonaphthyl-4)-maleimide conjugated with the enzyme. The time-dependent fluorescence intensity of N-(1-anilinonaphthyl-4)-maleimide attached to cytochrome oxidase was described as a triple exponential decay. Both the intrinsic and lipid phase transition-induced conformational changes were detectable in plots of the average lifetime against temperature. In most cases a peak occurred at the temperature of the conformational change. The time-dependent emission anisotropy showed that N-(1-anilinonaphthyl-4)-maleimide embedded in cytochrome oxidase in phosphatidylcholine vesicles underwent a rapid restricted wobbling within a cone. The half-angle of the cone was around 30° for cytochrome oxidase in dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine vesicles.
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