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Biochemistry. 2006 Nov 28;45(47):14043-51.

Circular dichroism and magnetic circular dichroism studies of the active site of p53R2 from human and mouse: iron binding and nature of the biferrous site relative to other ribonucleotide reductases.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


Ribonucleotide reductases (RNR) catalyze the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of deoxyribonucleotides from the corresponding ribonucleotides in the synthesis of DNA. Class I RNR has two subunits: R1 with the substrate binding and active site and R2 with a stable tyrosyl radical and diiron cluster. Biferrous R2 reacts with oxygen to form the tyrosyl radical needed for enzymatic activity. A novel R2 form, p53R2, is a 351-amino acid protein induced by the "tumor suppressor gene" p53. p53R2 has been studied using a combination of circular dichroism, magnetic circular dichroism, variable-temperature variable-field MCD, and EPR spectroscopies. The active site of biferrous p53R2 in both the human (hp53R2) and mouse (mp53R2) forms is found to have one five-coordinate and one four-coordinate iron, which are weakly antiferromagnetically coupled through mu-1,3-carboxylate bridges. These spectroscopic data are very similar to those of Escherichia coli R2, and mouse R2, with a stronger resemblance to data of the former. Titrations of apo-hp53R2 and apo-mp53R2 with Fe(II) were pursued for the purpose of comparing their metal binding affinities to those of other R2s. Both p53R2s were found to have a high affinity for Fe(II), which is different from that of mouse R2 and may reflect differences in the regulation of enzymatic activity, as p53R2 is mainly triggered during DNA repair. The difference in ferrous affinity between mammalian R2 and p53R2 suggests the possibility of specific inhibition of DNA precursor synthesis during cell division.

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