Catalytic reduction of NO to N2O by a designed heme copper center in myoglobin: Implications for the role of metal ions


The effects of metal ions on the reduction of nitric oxide (NO) with a designed heme copper center in myoglobin (F43H/L29H sperm whale Mb, CuBMb) were investigated under reducing anaerobic conditions using UV-vis and EPR spectroscopic techniques as well as GC/MS. In the presence of Cu(I), catalytic reduction of NO to N2O by CuBMb was observed with turnover number of 2 mol NO·mol CuBMb-1·min-1, close to 3 mol NO·mol enzyme-1·min-1 reported for the ba3 oxidases from T. thermophilus. Formation of a His-heme-NO species was detected by UV-vis and EPR spectroscopy. In comparison to the EPR spectra of ferrous-CuBMb-NO in the absence of metal ions, the EPR spectra of ferrous-CuBMb-NO in the presence of Cu(I) showed less-resolved hyperfine splitting from the proximal histidine, probably due to weakening of the proximal His-heme bond. In the presence of Zn(II), formation of a five-coordinate ferrous-CuBMb-NO species, resulting from cleavage of the proximal heme Fe-His bond, was shown by UV-vis and EPR spectroscopic studies. The reduction of NO to N2O was not observed in the presence of Zn(II). Control experiments using wild-type myoglobin indicated no reduction of NO in the presence of either Cu(I) or Zn(II). These results suggest that both the identity and the oxidation state of the metal ion in the CuB center are important for NO reduction. A redox-active metal ion is required to deliver electrons, and a higher oxidation state is preferred to weaken the heme iron-proximal histidine toward a five-coordinate key intermediate in NO reduction. Copyright © 2006 American Chemical Society.

Publication Title

Journal of the American Chemical Society