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J Biol Chem. 1980 May 10;255(9):4264-77.

Flavin analogs as mechanistic probes of adrenodoxin reductase-dependent electron transfer to the cholesterol side chain cleavage cytochrome P-450 of the adrenal cortex.


The intrinsic isotope effect on the reduction of the FAD-containing dehydrogenase electron transferase, adrenodoxin reductase, by (4S)-[2H]NADPH has been determined to be 7.1 to 7.7. The replacement of FAD by a series of FAD analogs at the active site of adrenodoxin reductase with oxidation-reduction potentials which vary over a range of 212 mV has made it possible to extrapolate to this limiting value from the variation in the observed isotope effect on Vmax with flavin midpoint potential. Stop-flow studies which allow the direct determination of the intrinsic isotope effect on the reductive half-reaction corroborate this result. During the steady state reduction of ferricyanide by the native enzyme under conditions of Vmax, this isotope effect is almost fully expressed (VH/VD = 6.7 to 6.8). In contrast, we observe a dramatic attenuation of the intrinsic isotope effect (due to hydride transfer to flavin) when the oxidative half-reaction is mediated by the natural acceptor protein, the 2Fe/2S ferredoxin, adrenodoxin. In a coupled three-protein system, the adrenodoxin-mediated reductions of both the artificial electron acceptor, cytochrome c, and the physiological electron acceptor, cytochrome P-450scc, by adrenodoxin reductase occur at similar rates and with similar kinetic isotope effects (1.9 to 2.0) when (4S)-[2H]NADPH is the reductant. We infer similar mechanisms for the reduction of both cytochromes. These results are in agreement with previous studies (Lambeth, J.D., and Kamin, H. (1979) J. Biol. Chem. 254, 2766-2774) which show that the reductive half-reaction is not solely rate-determining in adrenodoxin-mediated processes. The observation of a linear free energy relationship between Vmax and the flavin midpoint potential during steady state reduction of ferricyanide confirms that the reductive half-reaction is rate-determining in this assay. The relationship between Vmax and flavin midpoint potential in reactions which require adrenodoxin suggests that the midpoint potential of native adrenodoxin reductase has been optimized. Thus, the apoenzyme of adrenodoxin reductase tailors the midpoint potential of bound FAD in order to balance the activation energies of the reductive and oxidative half-reactions.

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