Revisiting the mechanism of dioxygen activation in soluble methane monooxygenase from M. capsulatus (Bath): evidence for a multi-step, proton-dependent reaction pathway.
ABSTRACT: Stopped-flow kinetic investigations of soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO) from M. capsulatus (Bath) have clarified discrepancies that exist in the literature regarding several aspects of catalysis by this enzyme. The development of thorough kinetic analytical techniques has led to the discovery of two novel oxygenated iron species that accumulate in addition to the well-established intermediates H(peroxo) and Q. The first intermediate, P*, is a precursor to H(peroxo) and was identified when the reaction of reduced MMOH and MMOB with O(2) was carried out in the presence of >or=540 microM methane to suppress the dominating absorbance signal due to Q. The optical properties of P* are similar to those of H(peroxo), with epsilon(420) = 3500 M(-1) cm(-1) and epsilon(720) = 1250 M(-1) cm(-1). These values are suggestive of a peroxo-to-iron(III) charge-transfer transition and resemble those of peroxodiiron(III) intermediates characterized in other carboxylate-bridged diiron proteins and synthetic model complexes. The second identified intermediate, Q*, forms on the pathway of Q decay when reactions are performed in the absence of hydrocarbon substrate. Q* does not react with methane, forms independently of buffer composition, and displays a unique shoulder at 455 nm in its optical spectrum. Studies conducted at different pH values reveal that rate constants corresponding to P* decay/H(peroxo) formation and H(peroxo) decay/Q formation are both significantly retarded at high pH and indicate that both events require proton transfer. The processes exhibit normal kinetic solvent isotope effects (KSIEs) of 2.0 and 1.8, respectively, when the reactions are performed in D(2)O. Mechanisms are proposed to account for the observations of these novel intermediates and the proton dependencies of P* to H(peroxo) and H(peroxo) to Q conversion.
Project description:The methane and toluene monooxygenase hydroxylases (MMOH and TMOH, respectively) have almost identical active sites, yet the physical and chemical properties of their oxygenated intermediates, designated P*, H(peroxo), Q, and Q* in MMOH and ToMOH(peroxo) in a subclass of TMOH, ToMOH, are substantially different. We review and compare the structural differences in the vicinity of the active sites of these enzymes and discuss which changes could give rise to the different behavior of H(peroxo) and Q. In particular, analysis of multiple crystal structures reveals that T213 in MMOH and the analogous T201 in TMOH, located in the immediate vicinity of the active site, have different rotatory configurations. We study the rotational energy profiles of these threonine residues with the use of molecular mechanics (MM) and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) computational methods and put forward a hypothesis according to which T213 and T201 play an important role in the formation of different types of peroxodiiron(III) species in MMOH and ToMOH. The hypothesis is indirectly supported by the QM/MM calculations of the peroxodiiron(III) models of ToMOH and the theoretically computed Mössbauer spectra. It also helps explain the formation of two distinct peroxodiiron(III) species in the T201S mutant of ToMOH. Additionally, a role for the ToMOD regulatory protein, which is essential for intermediate formation and protein functioning in the ToMO system, is advanced. We find that the low quadrupole splitting parameter in the Mössbauer spectrum observed for a ToMOH(peroxo) intermediate can be explained by protonation of the peroxo moiety, possibly stabilized by the T201 residue. Finally, similarities between the oxygen activation mechanisms of the monooxygenases and cytochrome P450 are discussed.
Project description:During a single turnover of the hydroxylase component (MMOH) of soluble methane monooxygenase from Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b, several discrete intermediates are formed. The diiron cluster of MMOH is first reduced to the Fe(II)Fe(II) state (H(red)). O? binds rapidly at a site away from the cluster to form the Fe(II)Fe(II) intermediate O, which converts to an Fe(III)Fe(III)-peroxo intermediate P and finally to the Fe(IV)Fe(IV) intermediate Q. Q binds and reacts with methane to yield methanol and water. The rate constants for these steps are increased by a regulatory protein, MMOB. Previously reported transient kinetic studies have suggested that an intermediate P* forms between O and P in which the g = 16 EPR signal characteristic of the reduced diiron cluster of H(red) and O is lost. This was interpreted as signaling oxidation of the cluster, but a low level of accumulation of P* prevented further characterization. In this study, three methods for directly detecting and trapping P* are applied together to allow its spectroscopic and kinetic characterization. First, the MMOB mutant His33Ala is used to specifically slow the decay of P* without affecting its formation rate, leading to its nearly quantitative accumulation. Second, spectra-kinetic data collection is used to provide a sensitive measure of the formation and decay rate constants of intermediates as well as their optical spectra. Finally, the substrate furan is included to react with Q and quench its strong chromophore. The optical spectrum of P* closely mimics those of H(red) and O, but it is distinctly different from that of P. The reaction cycle rate constants allowed prediction of the times for maximal accumulation of the intermediates. Mössbauer spectra of rapid freeze-quench samples at these times show that the intermediates are formed at almost exactly the predicted levels. The Mössbauer spectra show that the diiron cluster of P*, quite unexpectedly, is in the Fe(II)Fe(II) state. Thus, the loss of the g = 16 EPR signal results from a change in the electronic structure of the Fe(II)Fe(II) center rather than oxidation. The similarity of the optical and Mössbauer spectra of H(red), O, and P* suggests that only subtle changes occur in the electronic and physical structure of the diiron cluster as P* forms. Nevertheless, the changes that do occur are necessary for O? to be activated for hydrocarbon oxidation.
Project description:Methanotrophs consume methane as their major carbon source and have an essential role in the global carbon cycle by limiting escape of this greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. These bacteria oxidize methane to methanol by soluble and particulate methane monooxygenases (MMOs). Soluble MMO contains three protein components, a 251-kilodalton hydroxylase (MMOH), a 38.6-kilodalton reductase (MMOR), and a 15.9-kilodalton regulatory protein (MMOB), required to couple electron consumption with substrate hydroxylation at the catalytic diiron centre of MMOH. Until now, the role of MMOB has remained ambiguous owing to a lack of atomic-level information about the MMOH-MMOB (hereafter termed H-B) complex. Here we remedy this deficiency by providing a crystal structure of H-B, which reveals the manner by which MMOB controls the conformation of residues in MMOH crucial for substrate access to the active site. MMOB docks at the ?(2)?(2) interface of ?(2)?(2)?(2) MMOH, and triggers simultaneous conformational changes in the ?-subunit that modulate oxygen and methane access as well as proton delivery to the diiron centre. Without such careful control by MMOB of these substrate routes to the diiron active site, the enzyme operates as an NADH oxidase rather than a monooxygenase. Biological catalysis involving small substrates is often accomplished in nature by large proteins and protein complexes. The structure presented in this work provides an elegant example of this principle.
Project description:The controlled oxidation of methane to methanol is a chemical transformation of great value, particularly in the pursuit of alternative fuels, but the reaction remains underutilized industrially because of inefficient and costly synthetic procedures. In contrast, methane monooxygenase enzymes (MMOs) from methanotrophic bacteria achieve this chemistry efficiently under ambient conditions. In this Account, we discuss the first observable step in the oxidation of methane at the carboxylate-bridged diiron active site of the soluble MMO (sMMO), namely, the reductive activation of atmospheric O(2). The results provide benchmarks against which the dioxygen activation mechanisms of other bacterial multicomponent monooxygenases can be measured. Molecular oxygen reacts rapidly with the reduced diiron(II) cen-ter of the hydroxylase component of sMMO (MMOH). The first spectroscopically characterized intermediate that results from this process is a peroxodiiron(III) species, P*, in which the iron atoms have identical environments. P* converts to a second peroxodiiron(III) unit, H(peroxo), in a process accompanied by the transfer of a proton, probably with the assistance of a residue near the active site. Proton-promoted O-O bond scission and rearrangement of the diiron core then leads to a diiron(IV) unit, termed Q, that is directly responsible for the oxidation of methane to methanol. In one section of this Account, we provide a detailed discussion of these processes, with particular emphasis on possible structures of the intermediates. The geometries of P* and H(peroxo) are currently unknown, and recent synthetic modeling chemistry has highlighted the need for further structural characterization of Q, currently assigned as a di(?-oxo)diiron(IV) "diamond core." In another section of the Account, we discuss in detail proton transfer during the O(2) activation events. The role of protons in promoting O-O bond cleavage, thereby initiating the conversion of H(peroxo) to Q, was previously a controversial topic. Recent studies of the mechanism, covering a range of pH values and in D(2)O instead of H(2)O, confirmed conclusively that the transfer of protons, possibly at or near the active site, is necessary for both P*-to-H(peroxo) and H(peroxo)-to-Q conversions. Specific mechanistic insights into these processes are provided. In the final section of the Account, we present our view of experiments that need to be done to further define crucial aspects of sMMO chemistry. Here our goal is to detail the challenges that we and others face in this research, particularly with respect to some long-standing questions about the system, as well as approaches that might be used to solve them.
Project description:Site-directed mutagenesis studies of a strictly conserved T201 residue in the active site of toluene/o-xylene monooxygenase hydroxylase (ToMOH) revealed that a single mutation can facilitate kinetic isolation of two distinctive peroxodiiron(III) species, designated T201(peroxo) and ToMOH(peroxo), during dioxygen activation. Previously, we characterized both oxygenated intermediates by UV-vis and Mo?ssbauer spectroscopy, proposed structures from DFT and QM/MM computational studies, and elucidated chemical steps involved in dioxygen activation through the kinetic studies of T201(peroxo) formation. In this study, we investigate the kinetics of T201(peroxo) decay to explore the reaction mechanism of the oxygenated intermediates following O(2) activation. The decay rates of T201(peroxo) were monitored in the absence and presence of external (phenol) or internal (tryptophan residue in an I100W variant) substrates under pre-steady-state conditions. Three possible reaction models for the formation and decay of T201(peroxo) were evaluated, and the results demonstrate that this species is on the pathway of arene oxidation and appears to be in equilibrium with ToMOH(peroxo).
Project description:Soluble methane monooxygenase in methanotrophs converts methane to methanol under ambient conditions. The maximum catalytic activity of hydroxylase (MMOH) is achieved through the interplay of its regulatory protein (MMOB) and reductase. An additional auxiliary protein, MMOD, functions as an inhibitor of MMOH; however, its inhibitory mechanism remains unknown. Here, we report the crystal structure of the MMOH-MMOD complex from Methylosinus sporium strain 5 (2.6 Å). Its structure illustrates that MMOD associates with the canyon region of MMOH where MMOB binds. Although MMOD and MMOB recognize the same binding site, each binding component triggers different conformational changes toward MMOH, which then respectively lead to the inhibition and activation of MMOH. Particularly, MMOD binding perturbs the di-iron geometry by inducing two major MMOH conformational changes, i.e., MMOH ? subunit disorganization and subsequent His147 dissociation with Fe1 coordination. Furthermore, 1,6-hexanediol, a mimic of the products of sMMO, reveals the substrate access route.
Project description:The multicomponent soluble form of methane monooxygenase (sMMO) catalyzes the oxidation of methane through the activation of O 2 at a nonheme biferrous center in the hydroxylase component, MMOH. Reactivity is limited without binding of the sMMO effector protein, MMOB. Past studies show that mutations of specific MMOB surface residues cause large changes in the rates of individual steps in the MMOH reaction cycle. To define the structural and mechanistic bases for these observations, CD, MCD, and VTVH MCD spectroscopies coupled with ligand-field (LF) calculations are used to elucidate changes occurring near and at the MMOH biferrous cluster upon binding of MMOB and the MMOB variants. Perturbations to both the CD and MCD are observed upon binding wild-type MMOB and the MMOB variant that similarly increases O 2 reactivity. MMOB variants that do not greatly increase O 2 reactivity fail to cause one or both of these changes. LF calculations indicate that reorientation of the terminal glutamate on Fe2 reproduces the spectral perturbations in MCD. Although this structural change allows O 2 to bridge the diiron site and shifts the redox active orbitals for good overlap, it is not sufficient for enhanced O 2 reactivity of the enzyme. Binding of the T111Y-MMOB variant to MMOH induces the MCD, but not CD changes, and causes only a small increase in reactivity. Thus, both the geometric rearrangement at Fe2 (observed in MCD) coupled with a more global conformational change that may control O 2 access (probed by CD), induced by MMOB binding, are critical factors in the reactivity of sMMO.
Project description:The regulatory component (MMOB) of soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO) has a unique N-terminal tail not found in regulatory proteins of other bacterial multicomponent monooxygenases. This N-terminal tail is indispensable for proper function, yet its solution structure and role in catalysis remain elusive. Here, by using double electron-electron resonance (DEER) spectroscopy, we show that the oxidation state of the hydroxylase component, MMOH, modulates the conformation of the N-terminal tail in the MMOH-2MMOB complex, which in turn facilitates catalysis. The results reveal that the N-terminal tail switches from a relaxed, flexible conformational state to an ordered state upon MMOH reduction from the diiron(III) to the diiron(II) state. This observation suggests that some of the crystallographically observed allosteric effects that result in the connection of substrate ingress cavities in the MMOH-2MMOB complex may not occur in solution in the diiron(III) state. Thus, O2 may not have easy access to the active site until after reduction of the diiron center. The observed conformational change is also consistent with a higher binding affinity of MMOB to MMOH in the diiron(II) state, which may allow MMOB to displace more readily the reductase component (MMOR) from MMOH following reduction.
Project description:Toluene/o-xylene monooxygenase hydroxylase (ToMOH), a diiron-containing enzyme, can activate dioxygen to oxidize aromatic substrates. To elucidate the role of a strictly conserved T201 residue during dioxygen activation of the enzyme, T201S, T201G, T201C, and T201V variants of ToMOH were prepared by site-directed mutagenesis. X-ray crystal structures of all the variants were obtained. Steady-state activity, regiospecificity, and single-turnover yields were also determined for the T201 mutants. Dioxygen activation by the reduced T201 variants was explored by stopped-flow UV-vis and Mössbauer spectroscopy. These studies demonstrate that the dioxygen activation mechanism is preserved in all T201 variants; however, both the formation and decay kinetics of a peroxodiiron(III) intermediate, T201(peroxo), were greatly altered, revealing that T201 is critically involved in dioxygen activation. A comparison of the kinetics of O(2) activation in the T201S, T201C, and T201G variants under various reaction conditions revealed that T201 plays a major role in proton transfer, which is required to generate the peroxodiiron(III) intermediate. A mechanism is postulated for dioxygen activation, and possible structures of oxygenated intermediates are discussed.
Project description:Protein effects in the activation of dioxygen by methane monooxygenase (MMO) were investigated by using combined QM/MM and broken-symmetry Density Functional Theory (DFT) methods. The effects of a novel empirical scheme recently developed by our group on the relative DFT energies of the various intermediates in the catalytic cycle are investigated. Inclusion of the protein leads to much better agreement between the experimental and computed geometric structures for the reduced form (MMOH(red)). Analysis of the electronic structure of MMOH(red) reveals that the two iron atoms have distinct environments. Different coordination geometries tested for the MMOH(peroxo) intermediate reveal that, in the protein environment, the mu-eta2,eta2 structure is more stable than the others. Our analysis also shows that the protein helps to drive reactants toward products along the reaction path. Furthermore, these results demonstrate the importance of including the protein environment in our models and the usefulness of the QM/MM approach for accurate modeling of enzymatic reactions. A discrepancy remains in our calculation of the Fe-Fe distance in our model of HQ as compared to EXAFS data obtained several years ago, for which we currently do not have an explanation.