Hexaheme nitrite reductase from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans. Mossbauer and EPR characterization of the heme groups

C. Costa, José J. G. Moura, I. Moura, M. Y. Liu, H. D. Peck, J. LeGall, Y. Wang, B. H. Huynh

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Mossbauer and EPR spectroscopy were used to characterize the heme prosthetic groups of the nitrite reductase isolated from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans (ATCC 27774), which is a membrane-bound multiheme cytochrome capable of catalyzing the 6-electron reduction of nitrite to ammonia. At pH 7.6, the as-isolated enzyme exhibited a complex EPR spectrum consisting of a low-spin ferric heme signal at g = 2.96, 2.28, and 1.50 plus several broad resonances indicative of spin-spin interactions among the heme groups. EPR redox titration studies revealed yet another low-spin ferric heme signal at g = 3.2 and 2.14 (the third g value was undetected) and the presence of a high-spin ferric heme. Mossbauer measurements demonstrated further that this enzyme contained six distinct heme groups: one high-spin (S = 5/2) and five low-spin (S = 1/2) ferric hemes. Characteristic hyperfine parameters for all six hemes were obtained through a detailed analysis of the Mossbauer spectra. D. desulfuricans nitrite reductase can be reduced by chemical reductants, such as dithionite or reduced methyl viologen, or by hydrogenase under hydrogen atmosphere. Addition of nitrite to the fully reduced enzyme reoxidized all five low-spin hemes to their ferric states. The high-spin heme, however, was found to complex NO, suggesting that the high-spin heme could be the substrate binding site and that NO could be an intermediate present in an enzyme-bound form.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14382-14388
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 1990


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