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Biochemistry. 1993 Jan 12;32(1):241-52.

Roles of proximal ligand in heme proteins: replacement of proximal histidine of human myoglobin with cysteine and tyrosine by site-directed mutagenesis as models for P-450, chloroperoxidase, and catalase.

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Division of Molecular Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Japan.


Histidine-93(F8) in human myoglobin (Mb), which is the proximal ligand of the heme iron, has been replaced with cysteine or tyrosine by site-directed mutagenesis. The resultant proximal cysteine and tyrosine mutant Mbs (H93C and H93Y Mbs, respectively) exhibit the altered axial ligation analogous to P-450, chloroperoxidase, and catalase. Coordination of cysteine or tyrosine to the ferric heme iron is confirmed by spectroscopic measurements including electronic absorption, hyperfine-shifted 1H-NMR, EPR, resonance Raman spectroscopies, and redox potential measurements of ferric/ferrous couple. H93C Mb is five-coordinate ferric high-spin with the proximal cysteine. H93Y Mb bearing the proximal tyrosine ligated to the iron is also in a ferric high-spin, five-coordinate state. The reactions of the mutants with cumene hydroperoxide show that the thiolate ligand enhances heterolytic O-O bond cleavage of the oxidant, while the phenolate ligand hardly affects the heterolysis/homolysis ratio for O-O bond scission in comparison with wild-type Mb. Monooxygenase activities such as epoxidation of styrene and N-demethylation of N,N-dimethylaniline, and catalase activity (dismutation of hydrogen peroxide) by wild-type Mb and the mutants, are examined by using H2O2. The increase of the catalytic activities by the mutation was, at most, 5-fold in the epoxidation reaction.

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