Strong Ligand-Protein Interactions Revealed by Ultrafast Infrared Spectroscopy of CO in the Heme Pocket of the Oxygen Sensor FixL

Abstract : In heme-based sensor proteins, ligand binding to heme in a sensor domain induces conformational changes that eventually lead to changes in enzymatic activity of an associated catalytic domain. The bacterial oxygen sensor FixL is the best-studied example of these proteins and displays marked differences in dynamic behavior with respect to model globin proteins. We report a mid-IR study of the configuration and ultrafast dynamics of CO in the distal heme pocket site of the sensor PAS domain FixLH, employing a recently developed method that provides a unique combination of high spectral resolution and range and high sensitivity. Anisotropy measurements indicate that CO rotates toward the heme plane upon dissociation, as is the case in globins. Remarkably, CO bound to the heme iron is tilted by similar to 30 degrees with respect to the heme normal, which contrasts to the situation in myoglobin and in present FixLH-CO X-ray crystal structure models. This implies protein-environment-induced strain on the ligand, which is possibly at the origin of a very rapid docking-site population in a single conformation. Our observations likely explain the unusually low affinity of FixL for CO that is at the origin of the weak ligand discrimination between CO and O(2). Moreover, we observe orders of magnitude faster vibrational relaxation of dissociated CO in FixL than in globins, implying strong interactions of the ligand with the distal heme pocket environment. Finally, in the R220H FixLH mutant protein, where CO is H-bonded to a distal histidine, we demonstrate that the H-bond is maintained during photolysis. Comparison with extensively studied globin proteins unveils a surprisingly rich variety in both structural and dynamic properties of the interaction of a diatomic ligand with the ubiquitous b-type heme-proximal histidine system in different distal pockets.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 25, 2013 - 9:28:32 PM
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Patrick Nuernberger, Kevin F. Lee, Adeline Bonvalet, Latifa Bouzhir-Sima, Jean-Christophe Lambry, et al.. Strong Ligand-Protein Interactions Revealed by Ultrafast Infrared Spectroscopy of CO in the Heme Pocket of the Oxygen Sensor FixL. Journal of the American Chemical Society, American Chemical Society, 2011, 133 (43), pp.17110. ⟨10.1021/ja204549n⟩. ⟨hal-00804599⟩

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