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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Interaction with membrane lipids and heme ligand binding properties of Escherichia coli flavohemoglobin.

Escherichia coli flavohemoglobin has been shown to be able to bind specifically unsaturated and/or cyclopropanated fatty acids with very high affinity. Unsaturated or cyclopropanated fatty acid binding results in a modification of the visible absorption spectrum of the ferric heme, corresponding to a transition from a pentacoordinated (typical of the ligand free protein) to a hexacoordinated, high spin, heme iron. In contrast, no detectable interaction has been observed with saturated fatty acid, saturated phospholipids, linear, cyclic, and aromatic hydrocarbons pointing out that the protein recognizes specifically double bonds in cis conformation within the hydrocarbon chain of the fatty acid molecule. Accordingly, as demonstrated in gel filtration experiments, flavohemoglobin is able to bind liposomes obtained from lipid extracts of E. coli membranes and eventually abstract phospholipids containing cis double bonds and/or cyclopropane rings along the acyl chains. The presence of a protein bound lipid strongly affects the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of imidazole binding to the ferric protein and brings about significant modifications in the reactivity of the ferrous protein with oxygen and carbon monoxide. The effect of the bound lipid has been accounted for by a reaction scheme that involves the presence of two sites for the lipid/ligand recognition, namely, the heme iron and a non-heme site located in a loop region above the heme pocket.[1]


  1. Interaction with membrane lipids and heme ligand binding properties of Escherichia coli flavohemoglobin. Bonamore, A., Farina, A., Gattoni, M., Schininà, M.E., Bellelli, A., Boffi, A. Biochemistry (2003) [Pubmed]
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