Effects of metal ions in the CuB center on the redox properties of heme in heme-copper oxidases: Spectroelectrochemical studies of an engineered heme-copper center in myoglobin


The electrochemical properties of an engineered heme-copper center in myoglobin have been investigated by UV-visible spectroelectrochemistry. In the cyanide-bridged, spin-coupled heme-copper center in an engineered myoglobin, the presence of Zn(II) in the CuB center raises the heme reduction potential from -85 to 49 m V vs NHE. However, in the cyanide-free, spin-decoupled derivative of the same protein, the presence of Zn(II) in the CuB center exerts little influence on the heme reduction potentials (77 and 80 mV vs NHE, respectively, in the absence and in the presence of Zn(II)). Similar trends have also been observed when copper ion is present in the CuB center, although on a smaller scale, due to reduction of Cu(II) to Cu(I) prior to heme reduction. These results show that the presence of a metal ion in the designed CuB center has a significant effect on the redox potential of heme Fe only when the two metal centers are coupled through a bridging ligand between the two metal centers, indicating that spin coupling plays an important role in redox potential regulation. In addition, the presence of a single positively charged Cu(I) center in the CuB center resulted in a much lower increase (16 mV) in heme reduction potential than that of two positively charged Zn(II) (118 mV). Therefore, the heme reduction potential must be lowered after the first electron transfer to reduce heme Fe3+-CuB2+ to Fe3+-Cu B+. To raise the heme reduction potential to make the second electron transfer (i.e., reduction of Fe3+-CuB+ to Fe2+-CuB+) to be favorable, most likely a proton or decoupling of the heme-copper center is needed in the heme-copper site. These findings provide a strong argument for a thermodynamic driving force basis for redox-regulated proton transfer in heme-heme oxidases.

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