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J Biol Chem. 2006 Aug 4;281(31):21892-902. Epub 2006 May 25.

Nitric oxide binding to prokaryotic homologs of the soluble guanylate cyclase beta1 H-NOX domain.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


The heme cofactor in soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) is a selective receptor for NO, an important signaling molecule in eukaryotes. The sGC heme domain has been localized to the N-terminal 194 amino acids of the beta1 subunit of sGC and is a member of a family of conserved hemoproteins, called the H-NOX family (Heme-Nitric Oxide and/or OXygen-binding domain). Three new members of this family have now been cloned and characterized, two proteins from Legionella pneumophila (L1 H-NOX and L2 H-NOX) and one from Nostoc punctiforme (Np H-NOX). Like sGC, L1 H-NOX forms a 5-coordinate Fe(II)-NO complex. However, both L2 H-NOX and Np H-NOX form temperature-dependent mixtures of 5- and 6-coordinate Fe(II)-NO complexes; at low temperature, they are primarily 6-coordinate, and at high temperature, the equilibrium is shifted toward a 5-coordinate geometry. This equilibrium is fully reversible with temperature in the absence of free NO. This process is analyzed in terms of a thermally labile proximal Fe(II)-His bond and suggests that in both the 5- and 6-coordinate Fe(II)-NO complexes of L2 H-NOX and Np H-NOX, NO is bound in the distal heme pocket of the H-NOX fold. NO dissociation kinetics for L1 H-NOX and L2 H-NOX have been determined and support a model in which NO dissociates from the distal side of the heme in both 5- and 6-coordinate complexes.

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