The classic spectrophotometric method for identification and characterization of respiratory enzymes has been used for the study of the cytochrome system of Aplysia. Particles have been prepared from the buccal mass and the gizzard muscles. Difference spectra taken on isolated particle suspensions show the presence of a complete cytochrome system composed of five components: cytochrome a, b, c, c1, and a3. As indicated by the peaks of the sharp absorption bands of their reduced forms, they are very similar to the cytochromes of mammals and yeast. Cytochrome a3 has been identified as the terminal oxidase of Aplysia muscle by means of the spectrophotometric study of its carbon monoxide compound. Further evidence for the presence of a cytochrome system in Aplysia was obtained by assays of the catalytic activities of the isolated particles: succinic dehydrogenase, cytochrome oxidase, DPNH cytochrome c reductase. The cytochrome oxidase activity was strongly inhibited by carbon monoxide in the dark; the inhibition was totally relieved by light.
Cytochrome c has been extracted and purified from muscle tissue. Its spectrum is almost identical with that of the mammalian pigment both in the oxidized and reduced forms. From the hepatopancreas a new respiratory enzyme has been extracted which has many physical and chemical properties in common with cytochrome h from terrestrial snails.