The diheme bacterial cytochrome c peroxidase (bCcP)/MauG superfamily is a diverse set of enzymes that remains largely uncharacterized. One recently discovered member, MbnH, converts a tryptophan residue in its substrate protein, MbnP, to kynurenine. Here we show that upon reaction with H2O2, MbnH forms a bis-Fe(IV) intermediate, a state previously detected in just two other enzymes, MauG and BthA. Using absorption, Mössbauer, and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopies coupled with kinetic analysis, we characterized the bis-Fe(IV) state of MbnH and determined that this intermediate decays back to the diferric state in the absence of MbnP substrate. In the absence of MbnP substrate, MbnH can also detoxify H2O2 to prevent oxidative self damage, unlike MauG, which has long been viewed as the prototype for bis-Fe(IV) forming enzymes. MbnH performs a different reaction from MauG, while the role of BthA remains unclear. All three enzymes can form a bis-Fe(IV) intermediate but within distinct kinetic regimes. The study of MbnH significantly expands our knowledge of enzymes that form this species. Computational and structural analyses indicate that electron transfer between the two heme groups in MbnH and between MbnH and the target tryptophan in MbnP likely occurs via a hole-hopping mechanism involving intervening tryptophan residues. These findings set the stage for discovery of additional functional and mechanistic diversity within the bCcP/MauG superfamily.
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