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Biochemistry. 2008 Jan 8;47(1):92-100. Epub 2007 Dec 11.

Impact of mutations on the midpoint potential of the [4Fe-4S]+1,+2 cluster and on catalytic activity in electron transfer flavoprotein-ubiquinone oxidoreductase (ETF-QO).

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado 80208, USA.


Electron-transfer flavoprotein-ubiquinone oxidoreductase (ETF-QO) is an iron-sulfur flavoprotein that accepts electrons from electron-transfer flavoprotein (ETF) and reduces ubiquinone from the Q-pool. ETF-QO contains a single [4Fe-4S]2+,1+ cluster and one equivalent of FAD, which are diamagnetic in the isolated oxidized enzyme and can be reduced to paramagnetic forms by enzymatic donors or dithionite. Mutations were introduced by site-directed mutagenesis of amino acids in the vicinity of the iron-sulfur cluster of Rhodobacter sphaeroides ETF-QO. Y501 and T525 are equivalent to Y533 and T558 in the porcine ETF-QO. In the porcine protein, these residues are within hydrogen-bonding distance of the Sgamma of the cysteine ligands to the iron-sulfur cluster. Y501F, T525A, and Y501F/T525A substitutions were made to determine the effects on midpoint potential, activity, and EPR spectral properties of the cluster. The integrity of the mutated proteins was confirmed by optical spectra, EPR g-values, and spin-lattice relaxation rates, and the cluster to flavin point-dipole distance was determined by relaxation enhancement. Potentiometric titrations were monitored by changes in the CW EPR signals of the cluster and semiquinone. Single mutations decreased the midpoint potentials of the iron-sulfur cluster from +37 mV for wild type to -60 mV for Y501F and T525A and to -128 mV for Y501F/T525A. Lowering the midpoint potential resulted in a decrease in steady-state ubiquinone reductase activity and in ETF semiquinone disproportionation. The decrease in activity demonstrates that reduction of the iron-sulfur cluster is required for activity. There was no detectable effect of the mutations on the flavin midpoint potentials.

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