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J Biol Chem. 1995 Mar 17;270(11):6345-50.

Heme oxygenase-2. Properties of the heme complex of the purified tryptic fragment of recombinant human heme oxygenase-2.

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Department of Biochemistry, Yamagata University School of Medicine, Japan.


Recombinant human microsomal heme oxygenase-2 was expressed in Escherichia coli. Tryptic digestion of the membrane fraction, in which the wild-type enzyme was localized, yielded a soluble tryptic peptide of 28 kDa, which retained the ability to accept electrons from NADPH-cytochrome P-450 reductase and the enzymatic activity for conversion of heme to biliverdin. The tryptic fragment, when purified to apparent homogeneity, bound one equivalent of heme to form a substrate-enzyme complex that had spectroscopic properties characteristic of heme proteins, such as myoglobin and hemoglobin. Optical absorption, Raman scattering, and EPR studies of the heme-tryptic fragment complex revealed that the ferric heme was six coordinate high spin at neutral pH and six coordinate low spin at alkaline pH, with a pK alpha value of 8.5. EPR and Raman scattering studies indicated that a neutral imidazole of a histidine residue served as the proximal ligand in the heme-heme oxygenase-2 fragment complex. The reaction with hydrogen peroxide converted the heme of the heme oxygenase-2 fragment complex into a verdoheme-like intermediate, while the reaction with m-chloroperbenzoic acid yielded a oxoferryl species. These spectroscopic properties are similar to those obtained for heme oxygenase-1, and thus the catalytic mechanism of heme oxygenase-2 appears to be similar to that of heme oxygenase-1.

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