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  1. Mononuclear non-heme iron enzymes are a large class of enzymes catalyzing a wide-range of reactions. In this work, we report that a non-heme iron enzyme in Methyloversatilis thermotolerans , OvoA Mtht, has two different activities, as a thiol oxygenase and a sulfoxide synthase. When cysteine is presented as the only substrate, OvoA Mtht is a thiol oxygenase. In the presence of both histidine and cysteine as substrates, OvoA Mtht catalyzes the oxidative coupling between histidine and cysteine (a sulfoxide synthase). Additionally, we demonstrate that both substrates and the active site iron's secondary coordination shell residues exert exquisite control over the dual activities of OvoA Mtht (sulfoxide synthase vs. thiol oxygenase activities). OvoA Mtht is an excellent system for future detailed mechanistic investigation on how metal ligands and secondary coordination shell residues fine-tune the iron-center electronic properties to achieve different reactivities.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 24, 2023
  2. Mononitrosyl and dinitrosyl iron species, such as {FeNO} 7 , {FeNO} 8 and {Fe(NO) 2 } 9 , have been proposed to play pivotal roles in the nitrosylation processes of nonheme iron centers in biological systems. Despite their importance, it has been difficult to capture and characterize them in the same scaffold of either native enzymes or their synthetic analogs due to the distinct structural requirements of the three species, using redox reagents compatible with biomolecules under physiological conditions. Here, we report the realization of stepwise nitrosylation of a mononuclear nonheme iron site in an engineered azurin under such conditions. Through tuning the number of nitric oxide equivalents and reaction time, controlled formation of {FeNO} 7 and {Fe(NO) 2 } 9 species was achieved, and the elusive {FeNO} 8 species was inferred by EPR spectroscopy and observed by Mössbauer spectroscopy, with complemental evidence for the conversion of {FeNO} 7 to {Fe(NO) 2 } 9 species by UV-Vis, resonance Raman and FT-IR spectroscopies. The entire pathway of the nitrosylation process, Fe( ii ) → {FeNO} 7 → {FeNO} 8 → {Fe(NO) 2 } 9 , has been elucidated within the same protein scaffold based on spectroscopic characterization and DFT calculations. Thesemore »results not only enhance the understanding of the dinitrosyl iron complex formation process, but also shed light on the physiological roles of nitric oxide signaling mediated by nonheme iron proteins.« less