Rate constants for intramolecular electron-transfer reactions of ruthenium-modified histidine mutants of cytochrome b2

Emma Lloyd, Karen Chapman, Stephen K Chapman, Zhi-Shen Jia, Meng-Chay Lim, Nicholas P Tomkinson, G Arthur Salmon, A Geoffrey Sykes

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    The cytochrome b2 core derived from flavocytochrome b2 has been expressed in Escherichia coli and four mutants Lys-56-->His, Lys-51-->His, Asn-42-->His and Pro-41-->His have been generated by site-directed mutagenesis. Ruthenium modification of the first three mutants with [Ru(NH3)5(H2O)]2+ led to the formation of singly modified His-56[Ru(NH3)5], His-51 [Ru(NH3)5] and His-42[Ru(NH3)5] derivatives in 30-45% yield. However no modification was observed with Pro41His. Moreover no evidence was obtained for the formation of His-19[Ru(NH3)5], where His-19 is the unco-ordinated histidine present in wild-type and mutant cytochrome b2 forms. Characterisation of the singly modified products by inductively coupled plasma analyses indicates an Fe: Ru ratio of 1:1 for all three derivatives. The NMR spectra of the Ru-modified proteins reveal specific broadening by the paramagnetic Ru(III) of the characteristically sharp C(epsilon)H and C(delta)H resonances assigned to His-56, His-51 and His-42, while the C(epsilon)H resonance due to His-19 is unaffected. Whereas the titration of unmodified His-56, His-51, His-42 and His-41 residues by H-1 NMR spectroscopy gave pK(a) 6.4, 6.2, 6.5 and 6.4 respectively, His-19 did not similarly titrate in the pH 4.8-10.0 range, which is attributed to hydrogen bonding to a nearby residue. Using pulse radiolysis to generate the methyl viologen radical, MV.+, the metastable iron(II)ruthenium(III) form of the protein was obtained. Rate constants for intramolecular electron transfer from Fe(II) to Ru(II) were determined; 3.5 (His-56), 2.8 (His-51) and 78 s-1 (His-42) at I = 0.100 M. Edge-to-edge distances, from the nearest point on one or other of the axial haem ligands to the nearest point on the imidazole ring, are 10.8 (His-56), 9.8 (His-51) and 8.5 angstrom (His-42), and the driving force is close to 145 mV. Using the Beratan-Onuchic approach the most favourable pathways for electron transfer have been identified. For His-42 a direct through-bond pathway via axial His-43 to the haem Fe is indicated. In the case of the His-56 and His-51 derivatives, pathways that include through-space interactions appear to be dominant.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)675-681
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 1994




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