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Electrochemical studies on small electron transfer proteins using membrane electrodes, dos Santos, M. M. C., de Sousa P. M. P., Goncalves M. L. S., Krippahl L., Moura J. J. G., Lojou E., and Bianco P. , Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Jan 16, Volume 541, p.153-162, (2003) AbstractWebsite

Membrane electrodes (ME) were constructed using gold, glassy carbon and pyrolytic graphite supports and a dialysis membrane, and used to study the electrochemical behavior of small size electron transfer proteins: monohemic cytochrome c(522) from Pseudomonas nautica and cytochrome c(533) as well as rubredoxin from Desulfovibrio vulgaris. Different electrochemical techniques were used including cyclic voltammetry (CV), square wave voltammetry (SW) and differential pulse voltammetry (DP). A direct electrochemical response was obtained in all cases except with rubredoxin where a facilitator was added to the protein solution entrapped between the membrane and the electrode surface. Formal potentials and heterogeneous charge transfer rate constants were determined from the voltammetric data. The influence of the ionic strength and the pH of the medium on the electrochemical response at the ME were analyzed. The benefits from the use of the ME in protein electrochemistry and its role in modulating the redox behavior are analyzed. A critical comparison is presented with data obtained at non-MEs. Finally, the interactions that must be established between the proteins and the electrode surfaces are discussed, thereby modeling molecular interactions that occur in biological systems. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

NMR solution structures of two mutants of desulforedoxin, Goodfellow, B. J., Rusnak F., Moura I., Ascenso C. S., and Moura J. J. , J Inorg Biochem, Jan 1, Volume 93, Number 1-2, p.100-8, (2003) AbstractWebsite

The differences in geometry at the metal centres in the two known [Fe-4S] proteins rubredoxin (Rd) and desulforedoxin (Dx) are postulated to be a result of the different spacing of the C-terminal cysteine pair in the two proteins. In order to address this question, two mutants of Desulfovibrio gigas Dx with modified cysteinyl spacing were prepared and their solution structures have been determined by NMR. Mutant 1 of Dx (DxM1) has a single glycine inserted between the adjacent cysteines (C28 and C29) found in the wild type Dx sequence. Mutant 3 (DxM3) has two amino acid residues, -P-V-, inserted between C28 and C29 in order to mimic the primary sequence found in Rd from Desulfovibrio gigas. The solution structure of DxM1 exists, like wild type Dx, as a dimer in solution although the single glycine inserted between the adjacent cysteines disrupts the stability of the dimer resulting in exchange between a dimer state and a small population of another, probably monomeric, state. For DxM3 the two amino acid residues inserted between the adjacent cysteines results in a monomeric protein that has a global fold near the metal centre very similar to that found in Rd.

Ca2+ and the bacterial peroxidases: the cytochrome c peroxidase from Pseudomonas stutzeri, Timoteo, C. G., Tavares P., Goodhew C. F., Duarte L. C., Jumel K., Girio F. M. F., Harding S., Pettigrew G. W., and Moura I. , Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, Jan, Volume 8, Number 1-2, p.29-37, (2003) AbstractWebsite

The production of cytochrome c peroxidase (CCP) from Pseudomonas (Ps.) stutzeri (ATCC 11607) was optimized by adjusting the composition of the growth medium and aeration of the culture. The protein was isolated and characterized biochemically and spectroscopically in the oxidized and mixed valence forms. The activity of Ps. stutzeri CCP was studied using two different ferrocytochromes as electron donors: Ps. stutzeri cytochrome C-551 (the physiological electron donor) and horse heart cytochrome c. These electron donors interact differently with Ps. stutzeri CCP, exhibiting different ionic strength dependence. The CCP from Paracoccus (Pa.) denitrificans was proposed to have two different Ca2+ binding sites: one usually occupied (site I) and the other either empty or partially occupied in the oxidized enzyme (site II). The Ps. stutzeri enzyme was purified in a form with tightly bound Ca2+. The affinity for Ca2+ in the mixed valence enzyme is so high that Ca2+ returns to it from the EGTA which was added to empty the site in the oxidized enzyme. Molecular mass determination by ultracentrifugation and behavior on gel filtration chromatography have revealed that this CCP is isolated as an active dimer, in contrast to the Pa. denitrificans CCP which requires added Ca2+ for formation of the dimer and also for activation of the enzyme. This is consistent with the proposal that Ca2+ in the bacterial peroxidases influences the monomer/dimer equilibrium and the transition to the active form of the enzyme. Additional Ca2+ does affect both the kinetics of oxidation of horse heart cytochrome c (but not cytochrome C-551) and higher aggregation states of the enzyme. This suggests the presence of a superficial Ca2+ binding site of low affinity.

Formation of a stable cyano-bridged dinuclear iron cluster following oxidation of the superoxide reductases from Treponema pallidum and Desulfovibrio vulgaris with K(3)Fe(CN)(6), Auchere, F., Raleiras P., Benson L., Venyaminov S. Y., Tavares P., Moura J. J., Moura I., and Rusnak F. , Inorg Chem, Feb 24, Volume 42, Number 4, p.938-40, (2003) AbstractWebsite

Superoxide reductases catalyze the monovalent reduction of superoxide anion to hydrogen peroxide. Spectroscopic evidence for the formation of a dinuclear cyano-bridged adduct after K(3)Fe(CN)(6) oxidation of the superoxide reductases neelaredoxin from Treponema pallidum and desulfoferrodoxin from Desulfovibrio vulgaris was reported. Oxidation with K(3)Fe(CN)(6) reveals a band in the near-IR with lambda(max) at 1020 nm, coupled with an increase of the iron content by almost 2-fold. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy provided additional evidence with CN-stretching vibrations at 2095, 2025-2030, and 2047 cm(-)(1), assigned to a ferrocyanide adduct of the enzyme. Interestingly, the low-temperature electronic paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra of oxidized TpNlr reveal at least three different species indicating structural heterogeneity in the coordination environment of the active site Fe ion. Given the likely 6-coordinate geometry of the active site Fe(3+) ion in the ferrocyanide adduct, we propose that the rhombic EPR species can serve as a model of a hexacoordinate form of the active site.

Spectroscopic characterization of a novel 2 x 4Fe-4S ferredoxin isolated from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774, Rodrigues, P. M., Moura I., Macedo A. L., and Moura J. J. G. , Inorganica Chimica Acta, Dec 3, Volume 356, p.215-221, (2003) AbstractWebsite

A novel iron-sulfur containing protein, a ferredoxin (Fd), was purified to homogeneity from the extract of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans American type culture collection (ATCC) 27774. The purified protein is a 13.4 kDa homodimer with a polypeptide chain of 60 amino acids residues, containing eight cysteines that coordinate two [4Fe-4S] clusters. The protein is shown to be air sensitive and cluster conversions take place. We structurally characterize a redox state that contains two [4Fe-4S] cores. 1D and 2D H-1 NMR studies are reported on form containing the clusters in the oxidized state. Based on the nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE), relaxation measurements and comparison of the present data with the available spectra of the analogous 8Fe Fds, the cluster ligands were specifically assigned to the eight-cysteinyl residues. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Activation of N2O reduction by the fully reduced micro4-sulfide bridged tetranuclear Cu Z cluster in nitrous oxide reductase, Ghosh, S., Gorelsky S. I., Chen P., Cabrito I., Moura J. J., Moura I., and Solomon E. I. , J Am Chem Soc, Dec 24, Volume 125, Number 51, p.15708-9, (2003) AbstractWebsite

The tetranuclear CuZ cluster catalyzes the two-electron reduction of N2O to N2 and H2O in the enzyme nitrous oxide reductase. This study shows that the fully reduced 4CuI form of the cluster correlates with the catalytic activity of the enzyme. This is the first demonstration that the S = 1/2 form of CuZ can be further reduced. Complementary DFT calculations support the experimental findings and demonstrate that N2O binding in a bent mu-1,3-bridging mode to the 4CuI form is most efficient due to strong back-bonding from two reduced copper atoms. This back-donation activates N2O for electrophilic attack by a proton.

Kinetic behavior of Desulfovibrio gigas aldehyde oxidoreductase encapsulated in reverse micelles, Andrade, S. L., Brondino C. D., Kamenskaya E. O., Levashov A. V., and Moura J. J. , Biochem Biophys Res Commun, Aug 15, Volume 308, Number 1, p.73-8, (2003) AbstractWebsite

We report the kinetic behavior of the enzyme aldehyde oxidoreductase (AOR) from the sulfate reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio gigas (Dg) encapsulated in reverse micelles of sodium bis-(2-ethylhexyl) sulfosuccinate in isooctane using benzaldehyde, octaldehyde, and decylaldehyde as substrates. Dg AOR is a 200-kDa homodimeric protein that catalyzes the conversion of aldehydes to carboxylic acids. Ultrasedimentation analysis of Dg AOR-containing micelles showed the presence of 100-kDa molecular weight species, confirming that the Dg AOR subunits can be dissociated. UV-visible spectra of encapsulated Dg AOR are indistinguishable from the enzyme spectrum in solution, suggesting that both protein fold and metal cofactor are kept intact upon encapsulation. The catalytic constant (k(cat)) profile as a function of the micelle size W(0) (W(0)=[H(2)O]/[AOT]) using benzaldehyde as substrate showed two bell-shaped activity peaks at W(0)=20 and 26. Furthermore, enzymatic activity for octaldehyde and decylaldehyde was detected only in reverse micelles. Like for the benzaldehyde kinetics, two peaks with both similar k(cat) values and W(0) positions were obtained. EPR studies using spin-labeled reverse micelles indicated that octaldehyde and benzaldehyde are intercalated in the micelle membrane. This suggests that, though Dg AOR is found in the cytoplasm of bacterial cells, the enzyme may catalyze the reaction of substrates incorporated into a cell membrane.

Reductive activation of aerobically purified Desulfovibrio vulgaris hydrogenase: Mossbauer characterization of the catalytic H cluster, Huynh, B. H., Tavares P., Pereira A. S., Moura I., and Moura J. J. G. , Biochemistry and Physiology of Anaerobic Bacteria, 2003, p.35-45, (2003) AbstractWebsite
Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the di-haem cytochrome c peroxidase from Pseudomonas stutzeri, Bonifácio, Cecília, Cunha Carlos A., Müller Axel, Timóteo Cristina G., Dias João M., Moura Isabel, and Romão Maria João , Acta Crystallographica Section D, Volume 59, Number 2, p.345-347, (2003) AbstractWebsite
Spectroscopic and electronic structure studies of the mu(4)-sulfide bridged tetranuclear Cu(Z) cluster in N(2)O reductase: molecular insight into the catalytic mechanism, Chen, P., Cabrito I., Moura J. J., Moura I., and Solomon E. I. , J Am Chem Soc, Sep 4, Volume 124, Number 35, p.10497-507, (2002) AbstractWebsite

Spectroscopic methods combined with density functional calculations are used to develop a detailed bonding description of the mu(4)-sulfide bridged tetranuclear Cu(Z) cluster in N(2)O reductase. The ground state of Cu(Z) has the 1Cu(II)/3Cu(I) configuration. The single electron hole dominantly resides on one Cu atom (Cu(I)) and partially delocalizes onto a second Cu atom (Cu(II)) via a Cu(I)-S-Cu(II) sigma/sigma superexchange pathway which is manifested by a Cu(II) --> Cu(I) intervalence transfer transition in absorption. The observed excited-state spectral features of Cu(Z) are dominated by the S --> Cu(I) charge-transfer transitions and Cu(I) based d-d transitions. The intensity pattern of individual S --> Cu(I) charge-transfer transitions reflects different bonding interactions of the sulfur valence orbitals with the four Cu's in the Cu(Z) cluster, which are consistent with the individual Cu-S force constants obtained from a normal coordinate analysis of the Cu(Z) resonance Raman frequencies and profiles. The Cu(I) d orbital splitting pattern correlates with its distorted T-shaped ligand field geometry and accounts for the observed low g( parallel ) value of Cu(Z) in EPR. The dominantly localized electronic structure description of the Cu(Z) site results from interactions of Cu(II) with the two additional Cu's of the cluster (Cu(III)/Cu(IV)), where the Cu-Cu electrostatic interactions lead to hole localization with no metal-metal bonding. The substrate binding edge of Cu(Z) has a dominantly oxidized Cu(I) and a dominantly reduced Cu(IV). The electronic structure description of Cu(Z) provides a strategy to overcome the reaction barrier of N(2)O reduction at this Cu(I)/Cu(IV) edge by simultaneous two-electron transfer to N(2)O in a bridged binding mode. One electron can be donated directly from Cu(IV) and the other from Cu(II) through the Cu(II)-S-Cu(I) sigma/sigma superexchange pathway. A frontier orbital scheme provides molecular insight into the catalytic mechanism of N(2)O reduction by the Cu(Z) cluster.

Hydrogen evolution and consumption in AOT-isooctane reverse micelles by Desulfovibrio gigas hydrogenase, Andrade, S. L. A., and Moura J. J. G. , Enzyme and Microbial Technology, Sep 2, Volume 31, Number 4, p.398-402, (2002) AbstractWebsite

The enzyme hydrogenase isolated from the sulphate reducing anaerobic bacterium Desulfovibrio gigas was encapsulated in reverse micelles of AOT-water-isooctane. The enzyme ability to consume molecular hydrogen was studied as a function of the micelle size (given by W-o = [H2O]/[organic solvent]). A peak of catalytic activity was obtained for W-o = 18, a micelle size theoretically fitting the heterodimeric hydrogenase molecule. At this W-o value, the recorded catalytic activity was slightly higher than in a buffer system (K-cat = 169.43 s(-1) against the buffer value of 151 s(-1)). The optimal buffer used to encapsulate the enzyme was found to be imidazole 50 mM, pH 9.0, The molecular hydrogen production activity was also tested in this reverse micelle medium. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All lights reserved.

Gene sequence and the 1.8 A crystal structure of the tungsten-containing formate dehydrogenase from Desulfovibrio gigas, Raaijmakers, H., Macieira S., Dias J. M., Teixeira S., Bursakov S., Huber R., Moura J. J., Moura I., and Romao M. J. , Structure, Sep, Volume 10, Number 9, p.1261-72, (2002) AbstractWebsite

Desulfovibrio gigas formate dehydrogenase is the first representative of a tungsten-containing enzyme from a mesophile that has been structurally characterized. It is a heterodimer of 110 and 24 kDa subunits. The large subunit, homologous to E. coli FDH-H and to D. desulfuricans nitrate reductase, harbors the W site and one [4Fe-4S] center. No small subunit ortholog containing three [4Fe-4S] clusters has been reported. The structural homology with E. coli FDH-H shows that the essential residues (SeCys158, His159, and Arg407) at the active site are conserved. The active site is accessible via a positively charged tunnel, while product release may be facilitated, for H(+) by buried waters and protonable amino acids and for CO(2) through a hydrophobic channel.

Zinc-substituted Desulfovibrio gigas desulforedoxins: resolving subunit degeneracy with nonsymmetric pseudocontact shifts, Goodfellow, B. J., Nunes S. G., Rusnak F., Moura I., Ascenso C., Moura J. J., Volkman B. F., and Markley J. L. , Protein Sci, Oct, Volume 11, Number 10, p.2464-70, (2002) AbstractWebsite

Desulfovibrio gigas desulforedoxin (Dx) consists of two identical peptides, each containing one [Fe-4S] center per monomer. Variants with different iron and zinc metal compositions arise when desulforedoxin is produced recombinantly from Escherichia coli. The three forms of the protein, the two homodimers [Fe(III)/Fe(III)]Dx and [Zn(II)/Zn(II)]Dx, and the heterodimer [Fe(III)/Zn(II)]Dx, can be separated by ion exchange chromatography on the basis of their charge differences. Once separated, the desulforedoxins containing iron can be reduced with added dithionite. For NMR studies, different protein samples were prepared labeled with (15)N or (15)N + (13)C. Spectral assignments were determined for [Fe(II)/Fe(II)]Dx and [Fe(II)/Zn(II)]Dx from 3D (15)N TOCSY-HSQC and NOESY-HSQC data, and compared with those reported previously for [Zn(II)/Zn(II)]Dx. Assignments for the (13)C(alpha) shifts were obtained from an HNCA experiment. Comparison of (1)H-(15)N HSQC spectra of [Zn(II)/Zn(II)]Dx, [Fe(II)/Fe(II)]Dx and [Fe(II)/Zn(II)]Dx revealed that the pseudocontact shifts in [Fe(II)/Zn(II)]Dx can be decomposed into inter- and intramonomer components, which, when summed, accurately predict the observed pseudocontact shifts observed for [Fe(II)/Fe(II)]Dx. The degree of linearity observed in the pseudocontact shifts for residues >/=8.5 A from the metal center indicates that the replacement of Fe(II) by Zn(II) produces little or no change in the structure of Dx. The results suggest a general strategy for the analysis of NMR spectra of homo-oligomeric proteins in which a paramagnetic center introduced into a single subunit is used to break the magnetic symmetry and make it possible to obtain distance constraints (both pseudocontact and NOE) between subunits.

Vanadate oligomers interaction with phosphorylated myosin, Tiago, T., Aureliano M., Duarte R. O., and Moura J. J. G. , Inorganica Chimica Acta, Nov 15, Volume 339, p.317-321, (2002) AbstractWebsite

Using a myosin preparation containing endogenous myosin light-chain (LC2) kinase and phosphatase and calmodulin, i.e. near physiological ones, the interaction of vanadate oligomers with phosphorylated myosin was evaluated. Decavanadate or metavanadate solutions (2-15 mM total vanadate) did not prevent the phosphorylation state of the regulatory myosin lightchain, as observed by urea-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The relative order of line broadening upon protein addition, reflecting the interaction of the vanadate oligomers with phosphorylated myosin, was V10 > V-4 > V-1 = 1 whereas, no changes were observed for monomeric vanadate. In the presence of ATP, V-1 signal was shifted upfield 2 ppm and became broadened, while V4 signal became narrowed. Moreover, a significant increase in myosin ATPase inhibition (60%) was observed when decameric vanadate species were present (1.4 mM). It is concluded that, under conditions near physiological ones, decameric vanadate differs from vanadate oligomers present in metavanadate solutions due to its strong interaction with the phosphorylated enzyme and myosin ATPase inhibition. Besides, ATP decreases the affinity of myosin for tetravanadate, induces the interaction with monomeric vanadate, whereas it does not affect decameric vanadate interaction. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Membrane structural changes support the involvement of mitochondria in the bile salt-induced apoptosis of rat hepatocytes, Sola, S., Brito M. A., Brites D., Moura J. J. G., and Rodrigues C. M. P. , Clinical Science, Nov, Volume 103, Number 5, p.475-485, (2002) AbstractWebsite

The accumulation of toxic bile salts within the hepatocyte plays a key role in organ injury during liver disease. Deoxycholate (DC) and glycochenodeoxycholate (GCDC) induce apoptosis in vitro and in vivo, perhaps through direct perturbation of mitochondrial membrane structure and function. In contrast, ursodeoxycholate (UDC) and its taurine-conjugated form (TUDC) appear to be protective. We show here that hydrophobic bile salts induced apoptosis in cultured rat hepatocytes, without modulating the expression of pro-apoptotic Bax protein, and caused cytochrome c release in isolated mitochondria. Co-incubation with UDC and TUDC prevented cell death and efflux of mitochondrial factors. Using spin-labelling techniques and EPR spectroscopy analysis of isolated rat liver mitochondria, we found significant structural changes at the membrane-water surface in mitochondria exposed to hydrophobic bile salts, including modified lipid polarity and fluidity, altered protein order and increased oxidative injury. UDC, TUDC and cyclosporin A almost completely abrogated DC- and GCDC-induced membrane perturbations. We conclude that the toxicity of hydrophobic bile salts to hepatocytes is mediated by cytochrome c release, through a mechanism associated with marked direct effects on mitochondrial membrane lipid polarity and fluidity, protein order and redox status, without modulation of pro-apoptotic Bax expression. UDC and TUDC can directly suppress disruption of mitochondrial membrane structure, which may represent an important mechanism of hepatoprotection by these bile salts.

Bilirubin directly disrupts membrane lipid polarity and fluidity, protein order, and redox status in rat mitochondria, Rodrigues, C. M., Sola S., Brito M. A., Brites D., and Moura J. J. , J Hepatol, Mar, Volume 36, Number 3, p.335-41, (2002) AbstractWebsite

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Unconjugated bilirubin (UCB) impairs crucial aspects of cell function and induces apoptosis in primary cultured neurones. While mechanisms of cytotoxicity begin to unfold, mitochondria appear as potential primary targets. METHODS: We used electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy analysis of isolated rat mitochondria to test the hypothesis that UCB physically interacts with mitochondria to induce structural membrane perturbation, leading to increased permeability, and subsequent release of apoptotic factors. RESULTS: Our data demonstrate profound changes on mitochondrial membrane properties during incubation with UCB, including modified membrane lipid polarity and fluidity (P<0.01), as well as disrupted protein mobility (P<0.001). Consistent with increased permeability, cytochrome c was released from the intermembrane space (P<0.01), perhaps uncoupling the respiratory chain and further increasing oxidative stress (P<0.01). Both ursodeoxycholate, a mitochondrial-membrane stabilising agent, and cyclosporine A, an inhibitor of the permeability transition, almost completely abrogated UCB-induced perturbation. CONCLUSIONS: UCB directly interacts with mitochondria influencing membrane lipid and protein properties, redox status, and cytochrome c content. Thus, apoptosis induced by UCB may be mediated, at least in part, by physical perturbation of the mitochondrial membrane. These novel findings should ultimately prove useful to our evolving understanding of UCB cytotoxicity.

Perturbation of membrane dynamics in nerve cells as an early event during bilirubin-induced apoptosis, Rodrigues, C. M., Sola S., Castro R. E., Laires P. A., Brites D., and Moura J. J. , J Lipid Res, Jun, Volume 43, Number 6, p.885-94, (2002) AbstractWebsite

Increased levels of unconjugated bilirubin, the end product of heme catabolism, impair crucial aspects of nerve cell function. In previous studies, we demonstrated that bilirubin toxicity may be due to cell death by apoptosis. To characterize the sequence of events leading to neurotoxicity, we exposed developing rat brain astrocytes and neurons to unconjugated bilirubin and investigated whether changes in membrane dynamic properties can mediate apoptosis. Bilirubin induced a rapid, dose-dependent increase in apoptosis, which was nevertheless preceded by impaired mitochondrial metabolism. Using spin labels and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy analysis of whole cell and isolated mitochondrial membranes exposed to bilirubin, we detected major membrane perturbation. By physically interacting with cell membranes, bilirubin induced an almost immediate increase in lipid polarity sensed at a superficial level. The enhanced membrane permeability coincided with an increase in lipid fluidity and protein mobility and was associated with significant oxidative injury to membrane lipids. In conclusion, apoptosis of nerve cells induced by bilirubin is mediated by its primary effect at physically perturbing the cell membrane. Bilirubin directly interacts with membranes influencing lipid polarity and fluidity, protein order, and redox status. These data suggest that nerve cell membranes are primary targets of bilirubin toxicity.

Binding of protoporphyrin IX and metal derivatives to the active site of wild-type mouse ferrochelatase at low porphyrin-to-protein ratios, Lu, Y., Sousa A., Franco R., Mangravita A., Ferreira G. C., Moura I., and Shelnutt J. A. , Biochemistry, Jul 2, Volume 41, Number 26, p.8253-8262, (2002) AbstractWebsite

Resonance Raman (RR) spectroscopy is used to examine porphyrin substrate, product, and inhibitor interactions with the active site of murine ferrochelatase (EC, the terminal enzyme in the biosynthesis of heme. The enzyme catalyzes in vivo Fe2+ chelation into protoporphyrin IX to give heme. The RR spectra of native ferrochelatase show that the protein, as isolated, contains varying amounts of endogenously bound high- or low-spin ferric heme, always at much less than 1 equiv. RR data on the binding of free-base protoporphyrin IX and its metalated complexes (Fe(III), Fe(II), and Ni(II)) to active wild-type protein were obtained at varying ratios of porphyrin to protein. The binding of ferric heme, a known inhibitor of the enzyme, leads to the formation of a low-spin six-coordinate adduct. Ferrous heme, the enzyme's natural product, binds in the ferrous high-spin five-coordinate state. Ni(II) protoporphyrin, a metalloporphyrin that has a low tendency toward axial ligation, becomes distorted when bound to ferrochelatase. Similarly for free-base protoporphyrin, the natural substrate of ferrochelatase, the RR spectra of porphyrin-protein complexes reveal a saddling distortion of the porphyrin. These results corroborate and extend our previous findings that porphyrin distortion, a crucial step of the catalytic mechanism, occurs even in the absence of bound metal substrate. Moreover, RR data reveal the presence of an amino acid residue in the active site of ferrochelatase which is capable of specific axial ligation to metals.

17O ENDOR detection of a solvent-derived Ni-(OH(x))-Fe bridge that is lost upon activation of the hydrogenase from Desulfovibrio gigas, Carepo, M., Tierney D. L., Brondino C. D., Yang T. C., Pamplona A., Telser J., Moura I., Moura J. J., and Hoffman B. M. , J Am Chem Soc, Jan 16, Volume 124, Number 2, p.281-6, (2002) AbstractWebsite

Crystallographic studies of the hydrogenases (Hases) from Desulfovibrio gigas (Dg) and Desulfovibrio vulgaris Miyazaki (DvM) have revealed heterodinuclear nickel-iron active centers in both enzymes. The structures, which represent the as-isolated (unready) Ni-A (S = (1)/(2)) enzyme state, disclose a nonprotein ligand (labeled as X) bridging the two metals. The bridging atom was suggested to be an oxygenic (O(2)(-) or OH(-)) species in Dg Hase and an inorganic sulfide in DvM Hase. To determine the nature and chemical characteristics of the Ni-X-Fe bridging ligand in Dg Hase, we have performed 35 GHz CW (17)O ENDOR measurements on the Ni-A form of the enzyme, exchanged into H(2)(17)O, on the active Ni-C (S = (1)/(2)) form prepared by H(2)-reduction of Ni-A in H(2)(17)O, and also on Ni-A formed by reoxidation of Ni-C in H(2)(17)O. In the native state of the protein (Ni-A), the bridging ligand does not exchange with the H(2)(17)O solvent. However, after a reduction/reoxidation cycle (Ni-A --> Ni-C --> Ni-A), an (17)O label is introduced at the active site, as seen by ENDOR. Detailed analysis of a 2-D field-frequency plot of ENDOR spectra taken across the EPR envelope of Ni-A((17)O) shows that the incorporated (17)O has a roughly axial hyperfine tensor, A((17)O) approximately [5, 7, 20] MHz, discloses its orientation relative to the g tensor, and also yields an estimate of the quadrupole tensor. The substantial isotropic component (a(iso)((17)O) approximately 11 MHz) of the hyperfine interaction indicates that a solvent-derived (17)O is indeed a ligand to Ni and thus that the bridging ligand X in the Ni-A state of Dg Hase is indeed an oxygenic (O(2)(-) or OH(-)) species; comparison with earlier EPR results by others indicates that the same holds for Ni-B. The small (57)Fe hyperfine coupling seen previously for Ni-A (A((57)Fe) approximately 0.9 MHz) is now shown to persist in Ni-C, A((57)Fe) approximately 0.8 MHz. However, the (17)O signal is lost upon reductive activation to the Ni-C state; reoxidation to Ni-A leads to the reappearance of the signal. Consideration of the electronic structure of the EPR-active states of the dinuclear center leads us to suggest that the oxygenic bridge in Ni-A(B) is lost in Ni-C and is re-formed from solvent upon reoxidation to Ni-A. This implies that the reductive activation to Ni-C opens Ni/Fe coordination sites which may play a central role in the enzyme's activity.

Electronic structure description of the mu(4)-sulfide bridged tetranuclear Cu(Z) center in N(2)O reductase, Chen, P., DeBeer George S., Cabrito I., Antholine W. E., Moura J. J., Moura I., Hedman B., Hodgson K. O., and Solomon E. I. , J Am Chem Soc, Feb 6, Volume 124, Number 5, p.744-5, (2002) AbstractWebsite

Spectroscopy coupled with density functional calculations has been used to define the spin state, oxidation states, spin distribution, and ground state wave function of the mu4-sulfide bridged tetranuclear CuZ cluster of nitrous oxide reductase. Initial insight into the electronic contribution to N2O reduction is developed, which involves a sigma superexchange pathway through the bridging sulfide.

Hydrogen metabolism in Desulfovibrio desulfuricans strain New Jersey (NCIMB 8313)--comparative study with D. vulgaris and D. gigas species, Carepo, M., Baptista J. F., Pamplona A., Fauque G., Moura J. J., and Reis M. A. , Anaerobe, Dec, Volume 8, Number 6, p.325-32, (2002) AbstractWebsite

This article aims to study hydrogen production/consumption in Desulfovibrio (D.) desulfuricans strain New Jersey, a sulfate reducer isolated from a medium undergoing active biocorrosion and to compare its hydrogen metabolism with two other Desulfovibrio species, D. gigas and D. vulgaris Hildenborough. Hydrogen production was followed during the growth of these three bacterial species under different growth conditions: no limitation of sulfate and lactate, sulfate limitation, lactate limitation, pyruvate/sulfate medium and in the presence of molybdate. Hydrogen production/consumption by D. desulfuricans shows a behavior similar to that of D. gigas but a different one from that of D. vulgaris, which produces higher quantities of hydrogen on lactate/sulfate medium. The three species are able to increase the hydrogen production when the sulfate became limiting. Moreover, in a pyruvate/sulfate medium hydrogen production was lower than on lactate/sulfate medium. Hydrogen production by D. desulfuricans in presence of molybdate is extremely high. Hydrogenases are key enzymes on production/consumption of hydrogen in sulfate reducing organisms. The specific activity, number and cellular localization of hydrogenases vary within the three Desulfovibrio species used in this work, which could explain the differences observed on hydrogen utilization.

Construção de um Bio-Eléctrodo Específico para Determinação de Nitritos, Almeida, M. G., Tavares P., and Moura J. J. G. , Bol. Soc. Port. Química, Volume 84, p.68-71, (2002) Abstract
Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of two pH-dependent forms of a di-haem cytochrome c peroxidase from Pseudomonas nautica, Dias, João M., Bonifácio Cecília, Alves Teresa, Moura José J. G., Moura Isabel, and Romão Maria João , Acta Crystallographica Section D, Volume 58, Number 4, p.697-699, (2002) AbstractWebsite
Molybdenum enzymes in reactions involving aldehydes and acids, Romao, M. J., Cunha C. A., Brondino C. D., and Moura J. J. , Met Ions Biol Syst, Volume 39, p.539-70, (2002) AbstractWebsite
Superoxide reductase activities of neelaredoxin and desulfoferrodoxin metalloproteins, Rusnak, F., Ascenso C., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , Methods Enzymol, Volume 349, p.243-58, (2002) AbstractWebsite

Superoxide reductases have now been well characterized from several organisms. Unique biochemical features include the ability of the reduced enzyme to react with O2- but not dioxygen (reduced SORs are stable in an aerobic atmosphere for hours). Future biochemical assays that measure the reaction of SOR with O2- should take into account the difficulties of assaying O2- directly and the myriad of redox reactions that can take place between components in the assay, for example, direct electron transfer between cytochrome c and Dfx. Future prospects include further delineation of the reaction mechanisms, characterization of the putative (hydro)peroxo intermediate, and studies that uncover the components between reduced pyridine nucleotides and SOR in the metabolic pathway responsible for O2- detoxification.