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The structure of cytochrome c6C from the mesophilic cyano­bacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 has been determined at 1.03 Å resolution. This is the first structural report on the recently discovered cyanobacterial cytochrome c6-like proteins found in marine and nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria. Despite high similarity in the overall three-dimensional fold between cytochromes c6 and c6C, the latter shows saliently different electrostatic properties in terms of surface charge distribution and dipole moments. Its midpoint redox potential is less than half of the value for typical c6 cytochromes and results mainly from the substitution of one residue in the haem pocket. Here, high-resolution crystal structures of mutants of both cytochromes c6 and c6C are presented, and the impact of the mutation of specific residues in the haem-binding pocket on the redox potential is discussed. These findings contribute to the elucidation of the structure–function relationship of c6-like cytochromes.

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