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

Two enzymes with a common function but different heme ligands in the forms as isolated. Optical and magnetic properties of the heme groups in the oxidized forms of nitrite reductase, cytochrome cd1, from Pseudomonas stutzeri and Thiosphaera pantotropha.

It is shown that, in the oxidized state, heme c of Pseudomonas stutzeri (ZoBell strain) cytochrome cd1 has histidine-methionine ligation as observed for cytochrome cd1 from Pseudomonas aeruginosa [Sutherland, J., Greenwood, C., Peterson, J., and Thomson, A. J. (1986) Biochem. J. 233, 893-898]. However, the X-ray structure of Thiosphaera pantotropha cytochrome cd1 reveals bis-histidine ligation for heme c. It is confirmed by EPR and near-infrared (NIR) MCD measurements that the bis-histidine coordination remains unaltered in the solution phase. Hence, the difference between the heme c ligation states defines two distinct classes of oxidized cytochromes cd1 as isolated. A weak feature in the T. pantotropha NIR MCD at 1900 nm suggests that a small population of heme c has histidine-methionine coordination. The ligation state of heme d1 cannot be defined with the same level of confidence, because the porphyrin-to-Fe(III) charge-transfer (CT) bands are less well characterized for this class of partially reduced porphyrin ring. However, variable temperature absorption and MCD spectra show that, in the T. pantotropha enzyme, heme d1 exists in a thermal low-spin/high-spin mixture with the low-spin as the ground state, whereas in P. stutzeri cytochrome cd1, and d1 heme is low-spin at all temperatures. A weak band, assigned as the heme d1 porphyrin-pi(a1u,a2u)-to-ferric(d) charge-transfer transition has been identified for the first time at 2170 nm. Its magnetic properties show the heme d1 to have an unusual (dxz,yz)4(dxy)1 electronic ground state as is found for low-spin Fe(III) chlorins [Cheesman, M. R., and Walker, F. A. (1996) J. Am. Chem. Soc. 118, 7373-7380]. It is proposed that the localization of the Fe(III) unpaired d-electron in an orbital lying in the heme plane may decrease the affinity of the Fe(III) heme for unsaturated ligands such as NO. Although heme d1 in the enzymes from P. stutzeri and T. pantotropha shows different temperature-dependent spin properties, the positions of the low-spin Fe(III) alpha-absorption band, at approximately 640 nm, are very similar to those observed for cytochromes cd1 from eight other sources, suggesting that all have similar strength fields from the axial ligands and, hence, that all have the same coordination, namely histidine-tyrosine or possibly histidine-hydroxide at the heme.[1]


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