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Biochemistry. 1996 Jan 23;35(3):930-6.

Heme oxygenase (HO-1): His-132 stabilizes a distal water ligand and assists catalysis.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0446, USA.


His-25 and His-132 are the primary candidates for the proximal heme iron ligand in heme oxygenase isozyme-1 (HO-1). The unambiguous spectroscopic demonstration that His-25 is the proximal iron ligand leaves the role of His-132 uncertain. Absorption and resonance Raman spectroscopy are used here to establish that mutation of His-132 to an alanine, glycine, or serine does not alter the histidine-iron bond, but results in the loss of the water molecule coordinated to the distal side of the iron in the wild-type enzyme-substrate complex. The His-132 mutations also (a) destabilize the ferrous-O2 complex with respect to autoxidation, which should result in partial uncoupling of NADPH consumption from heme oxidation, and (b) decrease the affinity of the enzyme for heme. The catalytic activity of the protein is decreased but not suppressed by these mutations: the H132G and H132A mutants retain 40-50% and the H132S mutant 20% of the activity of the wild-type protein. His-132, however, is required for catalytic turnover of the protein with H2O2. These results place His-132 close to the iron on the distal side of the heme pocket and indicate that His-132 facilitates, but is not absolutely required for, the catalytic turnover of HO-1.

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