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A noncanonical tryptophan analogue reveals an active site hydrogen bond controlling ferryl reactivity in a heme peroxidase

Ortmayer, Mary, Hardy, Florence J., Quesne, Matthew G., Fisher, Karl, Levy, Colin, Heyes, Derren J., Catlow, C. Richard A., de Visser, Sam P., Rigby, Stephen E. J., Hay, Sam and Green, Anthony P. 2021. A noncanonical tryptophan analogue reveals an active site hydrogen bond controlling ferryl reactivity in a heme peroxidase. JACS Au 1 (7) 10.1021/jacsau.1c00145

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Nature employs high-energy metal-oxo intermediates embedded within enzyme active sites to perform challenging oxidative transformations with remarkable selectivity. Understanding how different local metal-oxo coordination environments control intermediate reactivity and catalytic function is a long-standing objective. However, conducting structure–activity relationships directly in active sites has proven challenging due to the limited range of amino acid substitutions achievable within the constraints of the genetic code. Here, we use an expanded genetic code to examine the impact of hydrogen bonding interactions on ferryl heme structure and reactivity, by replacing the N–H group of the active site Trp51 of cytochrome c peroxidase by an S atom. Removal of a single hydrogen bond stabilizes the porphyrin π-cation radical state of CcP W191F compound I. In contrast, this modification leads to more basic and reactive neutral ferryl heme states, as found in CcP W191F compound II and the wild-type ferryl heme-Trp191 radical pair of compound I. This increased reactivity manifests in a >60-fold activity increase toward phenolic substrates but remarkably has negligible effects on oxidation of the biological redox partner cytc. Our data highlight how Trp51 tunes the lifetimes of key ferryl intermediates and works in synergy with the redox active Trp191 and a well-defined substrate binding site to regulate catalytic function. More broadly, this work shows how noncanonical substitutions can advance our understanding of active site features governing metal-oxo structure and reactivity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI)
Advanced Research Computing @ Cardiff (ARCCA)
Publisher: American Chemical Society
ISSN: 2691-3704
Funders: ERC, BBSRC and EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 September 2021
Date of Acceptance: 14 May 2021
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 21:18

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