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J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Apr 28;132(16):5711-24. doi: 10.1021/ja9082182.

How active-site protonation state influences the reactivity and ligation of the heme in chlorite dismutase.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, USA.


Chlorite dismutase catalyzes O(2) release from chlorite with exquisite efficiency and specificity. The spectroscopic properties, ligand binding affinities, and steady-state kinetics of chlorite dismutase from Dechloromonas aromatica were examined over pH 3-11.5 to gain insight into how the protonation state of the heme environment influences dioxygen formation. An acid-base transition was observed by UV/visible and resonance Raman (rR) spectroscopy with a pK(a) of 8.7, 2-3 pH units below analogous transitions observed in typical His-ligated peroxidases. This transition marks the conversion of a five-coordinate high-spin Fe(III) to a mixed high/low-spin ferric hydroxide, as confirmed by rR spectroscopy. The two Fe-OH stretching frequencies are quite low, consistent with a weak Fe-OH bond, despite the nearly neutral imidazole side chain of the proximal histidine ligand. The hydroxide is proposed to interact strongly with a distal H-bond donor, thereby weakening the Fe-OH bond. The rR spectra of Cld-CO as a function of pH reveal two forms of the complex, one in which there is minimal interaction of distal residues with the carbonyl oxygen and another, acidic form in which the oxygen is under the influence of positive charge. Recent crystallographic data reveal arginine 183 as the lone H-bond-donating residue in the distal pocket. It is likely that this Arg is the strong, positively charged H-bond donor implicated by vibrational data to interact with exogenous axial heme ligands. The same Arg in its neutral (pK(a) approximately 6.5) form also appears to act as the active-site base in binding reactions of protonated ligands, such as HCN, to ferric Cld. The steady-state profile for the rate of chlorite decomposition is characterized by these same pK(a) values. The five-coordinate high-spin acidic Cld is more active than the alkaline hydroxide-bound form. The acid form decomposes chlorite most efficiently when the distal Arg is protonated/cationic (maximum k(cat) = 2.0(+/-0.6) x 10(5) s(-1), k(cat)/K(M) = 3.2(+/-0.4) x 10(7) M(-1) s(-1), pH 5.2, 4 degrees C) and to a somewhat lesser extent when it acts as a H-bond donor to the axial hydroxide ligand under alkaline conditions.

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