Spin‐equilibrium and heme‐ligand alteration in a high‐potential monoheme cytochrome (cytochrome c554) from Achromobacter cycloclastes, a denitrifying organism

Lígia M. Saraiva, Ming Y. Liu, William J. Payne, Jean LeGall, José J. G. Moura, Isabel Moura

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A c‐type monoheme cytochrome c554 (13 kDa) was isolated from cells of Achromobacter cycloclastes IAM 1013 grown anaerobically as a denitrifier. The visible absorption spectrum indicates the presence of a band at 695 nm characteristic of heme‐methionine coordination (low‐spin form) coexisting with a minor high‐spin form as revealed by the contribution at 630 nm. Magnetic susceptibility measurements support the existence of a small contribution of a high‐spin form at all pH values, attaining a minimum at intermediate pH values. The mid‐point redox potential determined by visible spectroscopy at pH 7.2 is + 150 mV. The pH‐dependent spin equilibrum and other relevant structural features were studied by 300‐MHz 1H‐NMR spectroscopy. In the oxidized form, the 1H‐NMR spectrum shows pH dependence with pKa values at 5.0 and 8.9. According to these pKa values, three forms designated as I, II and III can be attributed to cytochrome c554. Forms I and II predominate at low pH values, and the 1H‐NMR spectra reveal heme methyl proton resonances between 40 ppm and 22 ppm. These forms have a methionyl residue as a sixth ligand, and C6 methyl group of the bound methionine was identified in the low‐field region of the NMR spectra. Above pH 9.6, form III predominates and the 1H‐NMR spectrum is characterized by down‐field hyperfine‐shifted heme methyl proton resonances between 29 ppm and 22 ppm. Two new resonances are observed at ≃ 66 ppm and 54 ppm, and are taken as indicative of a new type of heme coordination (probably a lysine residue). These pH‐dependent features of the 1H‐NMR spectra are discussed in terms of the heme environment structure. The chemical shifts of the methyl resonances at different pH values exhibit anti‐Curie temperature dependence. In the ferrous state, the 1H‐NMR spectrum shows a methyl proton resonance at −3.9 ppm characteristic of methionine axial ligation. The electron‐transfer rate between ferric and ferrous forms has been estimated to be smaller than 2 × 104 M−1 s−1 at pH 5. EPR spectroscopy was also used to probe the ferric heme environment. A prominent signal at gmax≃ 3.58 and the overall lineshape of the spectrum indicate an almost axial heme environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-341
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1990


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