Low-barrier hydrogen bond in photoactive yellow protein.
ABSTRACT: Low-barrier hydrogen bonds (LBHBs) have been proposed to play roles in protein functions, including enzymatic catalysis and proton transfer. Transient formation of LBHBs is expected to stabilize specific reaction intermediates. However, based on experimental results and theoretical considerations, arguments against the importance of LBHB in proteins have been raised. The discrepancy is caused by the absence of direct identification of the hydrogen atom position. Here, we show by high-resolution neutron crystallography of photoactive yellow protein (PYP) that a LBHB exists in a protein, even in the ground state. We identified approximately 87% (819/942) of the hydrogen positions in PYP and demonstrated that the hydrogen bond between the chromophore and E46 is a LBHB. This LBHB stabilizes an isolated electric charge buried in the hydrophobic environment of the protein interior. We propose that in the excited state the fast relaxation of the LBHB into a normal hydrogen bond is the trigger for photo-signal propagation to the protein moiety. These results give insights into the novel roles of LBHBs and the mechanism of the formation of LBHBs.
Project description:The hydrogen bond (HB) between 4-hydroxycinnamic acid (HC4) and glutamic acid E46 of photoactive yellow protein is exceptionally strong. In the 0.82-å resolution X-ray structure for this protein (PDB ID: 1NWZ), the O?H…O distance is only 2.57?å. The position of the H atom between these two O atoms has not been determined in that structure, and in the absence of that information, it is impossible to determine whether or not this HB is a low-barrier HB (LBHB), as was proposed recently based on neutron structures of this protein (Yamaguchi et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2009, 106: 440-444). Residual electron density maps computed using the 1NWZ data reveal that this H atom is 0.92?å from the O?2 atom of E46 and 1.67?å from the O4 ' of HC4, and that the O?H…O bond angle is 167°. These observations indicate that E46 is protonated, and HC4 is deprotonated, as was originally suggested, and that the HB in question is not an LBHB.
Project description:Recent neutron diffraction studies of photoactive yellow protein (PYP) proposed that the H bond between protonated Glu46 and the chromophore [ionized p-coumaric acid (pCA)] was a low-barrier H bond (LBHB). Using the atomic coordinates of the high-resolution crystal structure, we analyzed the energetics of the short H bond by two independent methods: electrostatic pK(a) calculations and a quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) approach. (i) In the QM/MM optimized geometry, we reproduced the two short H-bond distances of the crystal structure: Tyr42-pCA (2.50 Å) and Glu46-pCA (2.57 Å). However, the H atoms obviously belonged to the Tyr or Glu moieties, and were not near the midpoint of the donor and acceptor atoms. (ii) The potential-energy curves of the two H bonds resembled those of standard asymmetric double-well potentials, which differ from those of LBHB. (iii) The calculated pK(a) values for Glu46 and pCA were 8.6 and 5.4, respectively. The pK(a) difference was unlikely to satisfy the prerequisite for LBHB. (iv) The LBHB in PYP was originally proposed to stabilize the ionized pCA because deprotonated Arg52 cannot stabilize it. However, the calculated pK(a) of Arg52 and QM/MM optimized geometry suggested that Arg52 was protonated on the protein surface. The short H bond between Glu46 and ionized pCA in the PYP ground state could be simply explained by electrostatic stabilization without invoking LBHB.
Project description:Because of its high pKa, arginine (Arg) is believed to be protonated even in the hydrophobic environment of the protein interior. However, our neutron crystallographic structure of photoactive yellow protein, a light sensor, demonstrated that Arg52 adopts an electrically neutral form. We also showed that the hydrogen bond between the chromophore and Glu46 is a so-called low barrier hydrogen bond (LBHB). Because both the neutral Arg and LBHB are unusual in proteins, these observations remain controversial. To validate our findings, we carried out neutron crystallographic analysis of the E46Q mutant of PYP. The resultant structure revealed that the proportion of the cationic form is higher in E46Q than in WT, although the cationic and neutral forms of Arg52 coexist in E46Q. These observations were confirmed by the occupancy of the deuterium atom bound to the N ?1 atom combined with an alternative conformation of the N(?2)D2 group comprising sp2 hybridisation. Based on these results, we propose that the formation of the LBHB decreases the proton affinity of Arg52, stabilizing the neutral form in the crystal.
Project description:Short hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) have been proposed to play key functional roles in several proteins. The location of the proton in short H-bonds is of central importance, as proton delocalization is a defining feature of low-barrier hydrogen bonds (LBHBs). Experimentally determining proton location in H-bonds is challenging. Here, bond length analysis of atomic (1.15-0.98 Å) resolution X-ray crystal structures of the human protein DJ-1 and its bacterial homologue, YajL, was used to determine the protonation states of H-bonded carboxylic acids. DJ-1 contains a buried, dimer-spanning 2.49 Å H-bond between Glu15 and Asp24 that satisfies standard donor-acceptor distance criteria for a LBHB. Bond length analysis indicates that the proton is localized on Asp24, excluding a LBHB at this location. However, similar analysis of the Escherichia coli homologue YajL shows both residues may be protonated at the H-bonded oxygen atoms, potentially consistent with a LBHB. A Protein Data Bank-wide screen identifies candidate carboxylic acid H-bonds in approximately 14% of proteins, which are typically short [?dO-O? = 2.542(2) Å]. Chemically similar H-bonds between hydroxylated residues (Ser/Thr/Tyr) and carboxylates show a trend of lengthening O-O distance with increasing H-bond donor pKa. This trend suggests that conventional electronic effects provide an adequate explanation for short, charge-assisted carboxylic acid-carboxylate H-bonds in proteins, without the need to invoke LBHBs in general. This study demonstrates that bond length analysis of atomic resolution X-ray crystal structures provides a useful experimental test of certain candidate LBHBs.
Project description:Ligand binding can change the pKa of protein residues and influence enzyme catalysis. Herein, we report three ultrahigh resolution X-ray crystal structures of CTX-M ?-lactamase, directly visualizing protonation state changes along the enzymatic pathway: apo protein at 0.79 Å, precovalent complex with nonelectrophilic ligand at 0.89 Å, and acylation transition state (TS) analogue at 0.84 Å. Binding of the noncovalent ligand induces a proton transfer from the catalytic Ser70 to the negatively charged Glu166, and the formation of a low-barrier hydrogen bond (LBHB) between Ser70 and Lys73, with a length of 2.53 Å and the shared hydrogen equidistant from the heteroatoms. QM/MM reaction path calculations determined the proton transfer barrier to be 1.53 kcal/mol. The LBHB is absent in the other two structures although Glu166 remains neutral in the covalent complex. Our data represents the first X-ray crystallographic example of a hydrogen engaged in an enzymatic LBHB, and demonstrates that desolvation of the active site by ligand binding can provide a protein microenvironment conducive to LBHB formation. It also suggests that LBHBs may contribute to stabilization of the TS in general acid/base catalysis together with other preorganized features of enzyme active sites. These structures reconcile previous experimental results suggesting alternatively Glu166 or Lys73 as the general base for acylation, and underline the importance of considering residue protonation state change when modeling protein-ligand interactions. Additionally, the observation of another LBHB (2.47 Å) between two conserved residues, Asp233 and Asp246, suggests that LBHBs may potentially play a special structural role in proteins.
Project description:Low-barrier hydrogen bonds (LBHBs) have been proposed to have important influences on the enormous reaction rate increases achieved by many enzymes. ?(5)-3-ketosteroid isomerase (KSI) catalyzes the allylic isomerization of ?(5)-3-ketosteroid to its conjugated ?(4)-isomers at a rate that approaches the diffusion limit. Tyr14, a catalytic residue of KSI, has been hypothesized to form an LBHB with the oxyanion of a dienolate steroid intermediate generated during the catalysis. The unusual chemical shift of a proton at 16.8 ppm in the nuclear magnetic resonance spectrum has been attributed to an LBHB between Tyr14 O? and C3-O of equilenin, an intermediate analogue, in the active site of D38N KSI. This shift in the spectrum was not observed in Y30F/Y55F/D38N and Y30F/Y55F/Y115F/D38N mutant KSIs when each mutant was complexed with equilenin, suggesting that Tyr14 could not form LBHB with the intermediate analogue in these mutant KSIs. The crystal structure of Y30F/Y55F/Y115F/D38N-equilenin complex revealed that the distance between Tyr14 O? and C3-O of the bound steroid was within a direct hydrogen bond. The conversion of LBHB to an ordinary hydrogen bond in the mutant KSI reduced the binding affinity for the steroid inhibitors by a factor of 8.1-11. In addition, the absence of LBHB reduced the catalytic activity by only a factor of 1.7-2. These results suggest that the amount of stabilization energy of the reaction intermediate provided by LBHB is small compared with that provided by an ordinary hydrogen bond in KSI.
Project description:Short hydrogen bonds and specifically low-barrier hydrogen bonds (LBHBs) have been the focus of much attention and controversy for their possible role in enzymatic catalysis. The green fluorescent protein (GFP) mutant S65T, H148D has been found to form a very short hydrogen bond between Asp148 and the chromophore resulting in significant spectral perturbations. Leveraging the unique autocatalytically formed chromophore and its sensitivity to this interaction we explore the consequences of proton affinity matching across this putative LBHB. Through the use of noncanonical amino acids introduced through nonsense suppression or global incorporation, we systematically modify the acidity of the GFP chromophore with halogen substituents. X-ray crystal structures indicated that the length of the interaction with Asp148 is unchanged at ?2.45 Å while the absorbance spectra demonstrate an unprecedented degree of color tuning with increasing acidity. We utilized spectral isotope effects, isotope fractionation factors, and a simple 1D model of the hydrogen bond coordinate in order to gain insight into the potential energy surface and particularly the role that proton delocalization may play in this putative short hydrogen bond. The data and model suggest that even with the short donor-acceptor distance (?2.45 Å) and near perfect affinity matching there is not a LBHB, that is, the barrier to proton transfer exceeds the H zero-point energy.
Project description:Standard hydrogen bonds are of great importance for protein structure and function. Ionic hydrogen bonds often are significantly stronger than standard hydrogen bonds and exhibit unique properties, but their role in proteins is not well understood. We report that hydrogen/deuterium exchange causes a redshift in the visible absorbance spectrum of photoactive yellow protein (PYP). We expand the range of interpretable isotope effects by assigning this spectral isotope effect (SIE) to a functionally important hydrogen bond at the active site of PYP. The inverted sign and extent of this SIE is explained by the ionic nature and strength of this hydrogen bond. These results show the relevance of ionic hydrogen bonding for protein active sites, and reveal that the inverted SIE is a novel, to our knowledge, tool to probe ionic hydrogen bonds. Our results support a classification of hydrogen bonds that distinguishes the properties of ionic hydrogen bonds from those of both standard and low barrier hydrogen bonds, and show how this classification helps resolve a recent debate regarding active site hydrogen bonding in PYP.
Project description:Hydrogen bonds play major roles in biological structure and function. Nonetheless, hydrogen-bonded protons are not typically observed by X-ray crystallography, and most structural studies provide limited insight into the conformational plasticity of individual hydrogen bonds or the dynamical coupling present within hydrogen bond networks. We report the NMR detection of the hydrogen-bonded protons donated by Tyr-42 and Glu-46 to the chromophore oxygen in the active site of the bacterial photoreceptor, photoactive yellow protein (PYP). We have used the NMR resonances for these hydrogen bonds to probe their conformational properties and ability to rearrange in response to nearby electronic perturbation. The detection of geometric isotope effects transmitted between the Tyr-42 and Glu-46 hydrogen bonds provides strong evidence for robust coupling of their equilibrium conformations. Incorporation of a modified chromophore containing an electron-withdrawing cyano group to delocalize negative charge from the chromophore oxygen, analogous to the electronic rearrangement detected upon photon absorption, results in a lengthening of the Tyr-42 and Glu-46 hydrogen bonds and an attenuated hydrogen bond coupling. The results herein elucidate fundamental properties of hydrogen bonds within the complex environment of a protein interior. Furthermore, the robust conformational coupling and plasticity of hydrogen bonds observed in the PYP active site may facilitate the larger-scale dynamical coupling and signal transduction inherent to the biological function that PYP has evolved to carry out and may provide a model for other coupled dynamic systems.
Project description:Photoactive yellow protein (PYP) has a characteristic hydrogen bond (H bond) between p-coumaric acid chromophore and Glu46, whose OH bond length has been observed to be 1.21 Å by the neutron diffraction technique [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 106, 440-4]. Although it has been expected that such a drastic elongation of the OH bond could be caused by the quantum effect of the hydrogen nucleus, previous theoretical computations including the nuclear quantum effect have so far underestimated the bond length by more than 0.07 Å. To elucidate the origin of the difference, we performed a vibrational analysis of the H bond on potential energy curve with O…O distance of 2.47 Å on the equilibrium structure, and that with O…O distance of 2.56 Å on the experimental crystal structure. While the vibrationally averaged OH bond length for equilibrium structure was underestimated, the corresponding value for crystal structure was in reasonable agreement with the corresponding experimental values. The elongation of the O…O distance by the quantum mechanical or thermal fluctuation would be indispensable for the formation of a low-barrier hydrogen bond in PYP.