Cluster analysis of time-dependent crystallographic data: Direct identification of time-independent structural intermediates.
ABSTRACT: The initial output of a time-resolved macromolecular crystallography experiment is a time-dependent series of difference electron density maps that displays the time-dependent changes in underlying structure as a reaction progresses. The goal is to interpret such data in terms of a small number of crystallographically refinable, time-independent structures, each associated with a reaction intermediate; to establish the pathways and rate coefficients by which these intermediates interconvert; and thereby to elucidate a chemical kinetic mechanism. One strategy toward achieving this goal is to use cluster analysis, a statistical method that groups objects based on their similarity. If the difference electron density at a particular voxel in the time-dependent difference electron density (TDED) maps is sensitive to the presence of one and only one intermediate, then its temporal evolution will exactly parallel the concentration profile of that intermediate with time. The rationale is therefore to cluster voxels with respect to the shapes of their TDEDs, so that each group or cluster of voxels corresponds to one structural intermediate. Clusters of voxels whose TDEDs reflect the presence of two or more specific intermediates can also be identified. From such groupings one can then infer the number of intermediates, obtain their time-independent difference density characteristics, and refine the structure of each intermediate. We review the principles of cluster analysis and clustering algorithms in a crystallographic context, and describe the application of the method to simulated and experimental time-resolved crystallographic data for the photocycle of photoactive yellow protein.
Project description:We determine the number of authentic reaction intermediates in the later stages of the photocycle of photoactive yellow protein at room temperature, their atomic structures, and a consistent set of chemical kinetic mechanisms, by analysis of a set of time-dependent difference electron density maps spanning the time range from 5 micros to 100 ms. The successful fit of exponentials to right singular vectors derived from a singular value decomposition of the difference maps demonstrates that a chemical kinetic mechanism holds and that structurally distinct intermediates exist. We identify two time-independent difference maps, from which we refine the structures of the corresponding intermediates. We thus demonstrate how structures associated with intermediate states can be extracted from the experimental, time-dependent crystallographic data. Stoichiometric and structural constraints allow the exclusion of one kinetic mechanism proposed for the photocycle but retain other plausible candidate kinetic mechanisms.
Project description:Time-resolved serial femtosecond crystallography (TR-SFX) at an x-ray free electron laser enables protein structural changes to be imaged on time-scales from femtoseconds to seconds. It can, however, be difficult to grasp the nature and timescale of global protein motions when structural changes are not isolated near a single active site. New tools are, therefore, needed to represent the global nature of electron density changes and their correlation with modeled protein structural changes. Here, we use TR-SFX data from bacteriorhodopsin to develop and validate a method for quantifying time-dependent electron density changes and correlating them throughout the protein. We define a spherical volume of difference electron density about selected atoms, average separately the positive and negative electron difference densities within each volume, and walk this spherical volume through all atoms within the protein. By correlating the resulting difference electron density amplitudes with time, our approach facilitates an initial assessment of the number and timescale of structural intermediates and highlights quake-like motions on the sub-picosecond timescale. This tool also allows structural models to be compared with experimental data using theoretical difference electron density changes calculated from refined resting and photo-activated structures.
Project description:Quinolinic acid is a common intermediate in the biosynthesis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and its derivatives in all organisms that synthesize the molecule de novo. In most prokaryotes, it is formed from the condensation of dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP) and iminoaspartate (IA) by the action of quinolinate synthase (NadA). NadA contains a [4Fe-4S] cluster cofactor with a unique noncysteinyl-ligated iron ion (Fea), which is proposed to bind the hydroxyl group of an intermediate in its reaction to facilitate a dehydration step. However, direct evidence for this role in catalysis has yet to be provided, and the exact chemical mechanism that underlies this transformation remains elusive. Herein, we present a structure of NadA from Pyrococcus horikoshii (PhNadA) in complex with IA and show that a carboxylate group of the molecule is ligated to Fea of the iron-sulfur cluster, occupying the site to which DHAP has been proposed to bind during catalysis. When crystals of PhNadA in complex with IA are soaked briefly in DHAP before freezing, electron density for a new molecule is observed, which we suggest is related to an intermediate in the reaction. Similar, but slightly different, "intermediates" are observed when crystals of a PhNadA Glu198Gln variant are incubated with DHAP, oxaloacetate, and ammonium chloride, conditions under which IA is formed chemically. Continuous-wave and pulse electron paramagnetic resonance techniques are used to verify the binding mode of substrates and proposed intermediates in frozen solution.
Project description:The [4Fe-4S] protein IspH in the methylerythritol phosphate isoprenoid biosynthesis pathway is an important anti-infective drug target, but its mechanism of action is still the subject of debate. Here, by using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and (2)H, (17)O, and (57)Fe isotopic labeling, we have characterized and assigned two key reaction intermediates in IspH catalysis. The results are consistent with the bioorganometallic mechanism proposed earlier, and the mechanism is proposed to have similarities to that of ferredoxin, thioredoxin reductase, in that one electron is transferred to the [4Fe-4S](2+) cluster, which then performs a formal two-electron reduction of its substrate, generating an oxidized high potential iron-sulfur protein (HiPIP)-like intermediate. The two paramagnetic reaction intermediates observed correspond to the two intermediates proposed in the bioorganometallic mechanism: the early ?-complex in which the substrate's 3-CH(2)OH group has rotated away from the reduced iron-sulfur cluster, and the next, ?(3)-allyl complex formed after dehydroxylation. No free radical intermediates are observed, and the two paramagnetic intermediates observed do not fit in a Birch reduction-like or ferraoxetane mechanism. Additionally, we show by using EPR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography that two substrate analogues (4 and 5) follow the same reaction mechanism.
Project description:CmlI catalyzes the six-electron oxidation of an aryl-amine precursor (NH2-CAM) to the aryl-nitro group of chloramphenicol (CAM). The active site of CmlI contains a (hydr)oxo- and carboxylate-bridged dinuclear iron cluster. During catalysis, a novel diferric-peroxo intermediate P is formed and is thought to directly effect oxygenase chemistry. Peroxo intermediates can facilitate at most two-electron oxidations, so the biosynthetic pathway of CmlI must involve at least three steps. Here, kinetic techniques are used to characterize the rate and/or dissociation constants for each step by taking advantage of the remarkable stability of P in the absence of substrates (decay t1/2 = 3 h at 4 °C) and the visible chromophore of the diiron cluster. It is found that diferrous CmlI (CmlIred) can react with NH2-CAM and O2 in either order to form a P-NH2-CAM intermediate. P-NH2-CAM undergoes rapid oxygen transfer to form a diferric CmlI (CmlIox) complex with the aryl-hydroxylamine [NH(OH)-CAM] pathway intermediate. CmlIox-NH(OH)-CAM undergoes a rapid internal redox reaction to form a CmlIred-nitroso-CAM (NO-CAM) complex. O2 binding results in formation of P-NO-CAM that converts to CmlIox-CAM by enzyme-mediated oxygen atom transfer. The kinetic analysis indicates that there is little dissociation of pathway intermediates as the reaction progresses. Reactions initiated by adding pathway intermediates from solution occur much more slowly than those in which the intermediate is generated in the active site as part of the catalytic process. Thus, CmlI is able to preserve efficiency and specificity while avoiding adventitious chemistry by performing the entire six-electron oxidation in one active site.
Project description:Single Si-doped graphene C53H18Si with one carbon atom replaced by a three-coordinate silicon atom is studied by density functional theory (DFT) calculations as a catalyst for the oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) in both acidic and alkaline media. The active sites for oxygen adsorption were determined from the distribution of the charge density difference analysis. At the equilibrium electrode potential, the most stable intermediate was found to have the structure HO*O*–C53H18Si with both oxygen atoms bound to the support, one of them being incorporated in between Si and C atoms, corresponding to the transfer of one hydrogen atom [H+ + e–]. The 2e ORR mechanism is shown to be very unlikely because the alternative 4e ORR pathway occurring via intermediates with a broken O–O bond is much more exothermic. In addition to the commonly adopted ORR mechanism, new reaction pathways have been discovered and shown to be potentially preferable over the traditional mechanism. The new proposed four-electron ORR route was predicted to proceed spontaneously in acidic media at U < 0.99 V and in alkaline media at U < 0.22.
Project description:We have used new kinetic fitting procedures to obtain infrared (IR) absolute spectra for intermediates of the main bacteriorhodopsin (bR) photocycle(s). The linear-algebra-based procedures of Hendler et al. (J. Phys. Chem. B, 105, 3319-3228 (2001)) for obtaining clean absolute visible spectra of bR photocycle intermediates were adapted for use with IR data. This led to isolation, for the first time, of corresponding clean absolute IR spectra, including the separation of the M intermediate into its M(F) and M(S) components from parallel photocycles. This in turn permitted the computation of clean IR difference spectra between pairs of successive intermediates, allowing for the most rigorous analysis to date of changes occurring at each step of the photocycle. The statistical accuracy of the spectral calculation methods allows us to identify, with great confidence, new spectral features. One of these is a very strong differential IR band at 1650 cm(-1) for the L intermediate at room temperature that is not present in analogous L spectra measured at cryogenic temperatures. This band, in one of the noisiest spectral regions, has not been identified in any previous time-resolved IR papers, although retrospectively it is apparent as one of the strongest L absorbance changes in their raw data, considered collectively. Additionally, our results are most consistent with Arg82 as the primary proton-release group (PRG), rather than a protonated water cluster or H-bonded grouping of carboxylic residues. Notably, the Arg82 deprotonation occurs exclusively in the M(F) pathway of the parallel cycles model of the photocycle.
Project description:Rieske dearomatizing dioxygenases utilize a Rieske iron-sulfur cluster and a mononuclear Fe(II) located 15 Å across a subunit boundary to catalyze O2-dependent formation of cis-dihydrodiol products from aromatic substrates. During catalysis, O2 binds to the Fe(II) while the substrate binds nearby. Single-turnover reactions have shown that one electron from each metal center is required for catalysis. This finding suggested that the reactive intermediate is Fe(III)-(H)peroxo or HO-Fe(V)?O formed by O-O bond scission. Surprisingly, several kinetic phases were observed during the single-turnover Rieske cluster oxidation. Here, the Rieske cluster oxidation and product formation steps of a single turnover of benzoate 1,2-dioxygenase are investigated using benzoate and three fluorinated analogues. It is shown that the rate constant for product formation correlates with the reciprocal relaxation time of only the fastest kinetic phase (RRT-1) for each substrate, suggesting that the slower phases are not mechanistically relevant. RRT-1 is strongly dependent on substrate type, suggesting a role for substrate in electron transfer from the Rieske cluster to the mononuclear iron site. This insight, together with the substrate and O2 concentration dependencies of RRT-1, indicates that a reactive species is formed after substrate and O2 binding but before electron transfer from the Rieske cluster. Computational studies show that RRT-1 is correlated with the electron density at the substrate carbon closest to the Fe(II), consistent with initial electrophilic attack by an Fe(III)-superoxo intermediate. The resulting Fe(III)-peroxo-aryl radical species would then readily accept an electron from the Rieske cluster to complete the cis-dihydroxylation reaction.
Project description:(E)-4-Hydroxy-3-methylbut-2-enyl diphosphate reductase (IspH or LytB) catalyzes the terminal step of the MEP/DOXP pathway where it converts (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methylbut-2-enyl diphosphate (HMBPP) into the two products, isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate. The reaction involves the reductive elimination of the C4 hydroxyl group, using a total of two electrons. Here we show that the active form of IspH contains a [4Fe-4S] cluster and not the [3Fe-4S] form. Our studies show that the cluster is the direct electron source for the reaction and that a reaction intermediate is bound directly to the cluster. This active form has been trapped in a state, dubbed FeS(A), that was detected by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy when one-electron-reduced IspH was incubated with HMBPP. In addition, three mutants of IspH have been prepared and studied, His42, His124, and Glu126 (Aquifex aeolicus numbering), with particular attention paid to the effects on the cluster properties and possible reaction intermediates. None of the mutants significantly affected the properties of the [4Fe-4S](+) cluster, but different effects were observed when one-electron-reduced forms were incubated with HMBPP. Replacing His42 led to an increased K(M) value and a much lower catalytic efficiency, confirming the role of this residue in substrate binding. Replacing the His124 also resulted in a lower catalytic efficiency. In this case, however, the enzyme showed the loss of the [4Fe-4S](+) EPR signal upon addition of HMBPP without the subsequent formation of the FeS(A) signal. Instead, a radical-type signal was observed in some of the samples, indicating that this residue plays a role in the correct positioning of the substrate. The incorrect orientation in the mutant leads to the formation of substrate-based radicals instead of the cluster-bound intermediate complex FeS(A). Replacing the Glu126 also resulted in a lower catalytic efficiency, with yet a third type of EPR signal being detected upon incubation with HMBPP. (31)P and (2)H ENDOR measurements of the FeS(A) species incubated with regular and (2)H-C4-labeled HMBPP reveal that the substrate binds to the enzyme in the proximity of the active-site cluster with C4 adjacent to the site of linkage between the FeS cluster and HMBPP. Comparison of the spectroscopic properties of this intermediate to those of intermediates detected in (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methylbut-2-enyl diphosphate synthase and ferredoxin:thioredoxin reductase suggests that HMBPP binds to the FeS cluster via its hydroxyl group instead of a side-on binding as previously proposed for the species detected in the inactive Glu126 variant. Consequences for the IspH reaction mechanism are discussed.
Project description:Covering: up to 2017 The participation of non-heme dinuclear iron cluster-containing monooxygenases in natural product biosynthetic pathways has been recognized only recently. At present, two families have been discovered. The archetypal member of the first family, CmlA, catalyzes ?-hydroxylation of l-p-aminophenylalanine (l-PAPA) covalently linked to the nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) CmlP, thereby effecting the first step in the biosynthesis of chloramphenicol by Streptomyces venezuelae. CmlA houses the diiron cluster in a metallo-?-lactamase protein fold instead of the 4-helix bundle fold of nearly every other diiron monooxygenase. CmlA couples O2 activation and substrate hydroxylation via a structural change caused by formation of the l-PAPA-loaded CmlP:CmlA complex. The other new diiron family is typified by two enzymes, AurF and CmlI, which catalyze conversion of aryl-amine substrates to aryl-nitro products with incorporation of oxygen from O2. AurF from Streptomyces thioluteus catalyzes the formation of p-nitrobenzoate from p-aminobenzoate as a precursor to the biostatic compound aureothin, whereas CmlI from S. venezuelae catalyzes the ultimate aryl-amine to aryl-nitro step in chloramphenicol biosynthesis. Both enzymes stabilize a novel type of peroxo-intermediate as the reactive species. The rare 6-electron N-oxygenation reactions of CmlI and AurF involve two progressively oxidized pathway intermediates. The enzymes optimize efficiency by utilizing one of the reaction pathway intermediates as an in situ reductant for the diiron cluster, while simultaneously generating the next pathway intermediate. For CmlI, this reduction allows mid-pathway regeneration of the peroxo intermediate required to complete the biosynthesis. CmlI ensures specificity by carrying out the multistep aryl-amine oxygenation without dissociating intermediate products.