A catalytic di-heme bis-Fe(IV) intermediate, alternative to an Fe(IV)=0 porphyrin radical

Xianghui Li, Rong Fu, Sheeyong Lee, Carsten Krebs, Victor L. Davidson, Aimin Liu

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High-valent iron species are powerful oxidizing agents in chemical and biological catalysis. The best characterized form of an Fe(V) equivalent described in biological systems is the combination of a b-type heme with Fe(IV)=O and a porphyrin or amino acid cation radical (termed Compound I). This work describes an alternative natural mechanism to store two oxidizing equivalents above the ferric state for biological oxidation reactions. MauG is an enzyme that utilizes two covalently bound c-type hemes to catalyze the biosynthesis of the protein-derived cofactor tryptophan tryptophylqui-none. Its natural substrate is a monohydroxylated tryptophan residue present in a 119-kDa precursor protein. An EPR-silent di-heme reaction intermediate of MauG was trapped. Mössbauer spectroscopy revealed the presence of two distinct Fe(IV) species. One is consistent with an Fe(IV)=O (ferryl) species (δ = 0.06 mm/s, ΔEq = 1.70 mm/s). The other is assigned to an Fe(IV) heme species with two axial ligands from protein (δ = 0.17 mm/s, ΔFq = 2.54 mm/s), which has never before been described in nature. This bis-Fe(IV) intermediate is remarkably stable but readily reacts with its native substrate. These findings broaden our views of how proteins can stabilize a highly reactive oxidizing species and the scope of enzyme-catalyzed posttranslational modifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8597-8600
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 24 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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