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Biochemistry. 1987 Jan 27;26(2):351-60.

Yeast cytochrome c peroxidase: mutagenesis and expression in Escherichia coli show tryptophan-51 is not the radical site in compound I.


Using oligonucleotide-directed site-specific mutagenesis, we have constructed a system for the mutation and expression of yeast cytochrome c peroxidase (CCP, EC in Escherichia coli and applied it to test the hypothesis that Trp-51 is the locus of the free radical observed in compound I of CCP [Poulos, T. L., & Kraut, J. (1980) J. Biol. Chem. 255, 8199-8205]. The system was created by substituting a CCP gene modified by site-directed mutagenesis, CCP(MI), for the fol gene in a vector previously used for mutagenesis and overexpression of dihydrofolate reductase. E. coli transformed with the resulting plasmid produced the CCP(MI) enzyme in large quantities, more than 15 mg/L of cell culture, of which 10% is holo- and 90% is apo-CCP(MI). The apoenzyme was easily converted to holoenzyme by the addition of bovine hemin. Purified CCP(MI) has the same catalytic activity and spectra as bakers' yeast CCP. A mutation has been made in CCP(MI), Trp-51 to Phe. The Phe-51 mutant protein CCP(MI,F51) is fully active, and the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrum, at 89 K, of its oxidized intermediate, compound I, displays a strong sharp resonance at g = 2.004, which is very similar to the signal observed for compound I of both bakers' yeast CCP and CCP(MI). However, UV-visible and EPR spectroscopy revealed that the half-life of CCP(MI,F51) compound I at 23 degrees C is only 1.4% of that observed for the compound I forms of CCP(MI) or bakers' yeast CCP. Thus, Trp-51 is not necessary for the formation of the free radical observed in compound I but appears to exert a significant influence on its stability.

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