Hydrogen bonding of tryptophan radicals revealed by EPR at 700 GHz.
ABSTRACT: Redox-active tryptophans are important in biological electron transfer and redox biochemistry. Proteins can tune the electron transfer kinetics and redox potentials of tryptophan via control of the protonation state and the hydrogen-bond strength. We examine the local environment of two neutral tryptophan radicals (Trp108 on the solvent-exposed surface and Trp48 buried in the hydrophobic core) in two azurin variants. Ultrahigh-field EPR spectroscopy at 700 GHz and 25 T allowed complete resolution of all of the principal components of the g tensors of the two radicals and revealed significant differences in the g tensor anisotropies. The spectra together with (2)H ENDOR spectra and supporting DFT calculations show that the g tensor anisotropy is directly diagnostic of the presence or absence as well as the strength of a hydrogen bond to the indole nitrogen. The approach is a powerful one for identifying and characterizing hydrogen bonds that are critical in the regulation of tryptophan-assisted electron transfer and tryptophan-mediated redox chemistry in proteins.
Project description:Fast-flow electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy has been used to detect a free radical formed from the reaction of l-tryptophan with Ce (4+) in an acidic aqueous environment. Computer simulations of the ESR spectra from l-tryptophan and several isotopically modified forms strongly support the conclusion that the l-tryptophan radical cation has been detected by ESR for the first time. The hyperfine coupling constants (HFCs) determined from the well-resolved isotropic ESR spectra support experimental and computational efforts to understand l-tryptophan's role in protein catalysis of oxidation-reduction processes. l-Tryptophan HFCs facilitated the simulation of fast-flow ESR spectra of free radicals from two related compounds, tryptamine and 3-methylindole. Analysis of these three compounds' beta-methylene hydrogen HFC data along with equivalent l-tyrosine data has led to a new computational method that can distinguish between these two amino acid free radicals in proteins without dependence on isotope labeling, electron-nuclear double resonance, or high-field ESR. This approach also produces geometric parameters (dihedral angles for the beta-methylene hydrogens) that should facilitate protein site assignment of observed l-tryptophan radicals as has been done for l-tyrosine radicals.
Project description:Tryptophan-based free radicals have been implicated in a myriad of catalytic and electron transfer reactions in biology. However, very few of them have been trapped so that biophysical characterizations can be performed in a high-precision context. In this work, tryptophan derivative-based radicals were studied by high-frequency/high-field electron paramagnetic resonance (HFEPR) and quantum chemical calculations. Radicals were generated at liquid nitrogen temperature with a photocatalyst, sacrificial oxidant, and violet laser. The precise g-anisotropies of l- and d-tryptophan, 5-hydroxytryptophan, 5-methoxytryptophan, 5-fluorotryptophan, and 7-hydroxytryptophan were measured directly by HFEPR. Quantum chemical calculations were conducted to predict both neutral and cationic radical spectra for comparison with the experimental data. The results indicate that under the experimental conditions, all radicals formed were cationic. Spin densities of the radicals were also calculated. The various line patterns and g-anisotropies observed by HFEPR can be understood in terms of spin-density populations and the positioning of oxygen atom substitution on the tryptophan ring. The results are considered in the light of the tryptophan and 7-hydroxytryptophan diradical found in the biosynthesis of the tryptophan tryptophylquinone cofactor of methylamine dehydrogenase.
Project description:Single-step electron tunnelling reactions can transport charges over distances of 15-20 Åin proteins. Longer-range transfer requires multi-step tunnelling processes along redox chains, often referred to as hopping. Long-range hopping via oxidized radicals of tryptophan and tyrosine, which has been identified in several natural enzymes, has been demonstrated in artificial constructs of the blue copper protein azurin. Tryptophan and tyrosine serve as hopping way stations in high-potential charge transport processes. It may be no coincidence that these two residues occur with greater-than-average frequency in O(2)- and H(2)O(2)-reactive enzymes. We suggest that appropriately placed tyrosine and/or tryptophan residues prevent damage from high-potential reactive intermediates by reduction followed by transfer of the oxidizing equivalent to less harmful sites or out of the protein altogether.
Project description:Tyrosine-tryptophan (YW) dyads are ubiquitous structural motifs in enzymes and play roles in proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) and, possibly, protection from oxidative stress. Here, we describe the function of YW dyads in de novo designed 18-mer, ? hairpins. In Peptide M, a YW dyad is formed between W14 and Y5. A UV hypochromic effect and an excitonic Cotton signal are observed, in addition to singlet, excited state (W*) and fluorescence emission spectral shifts. In a second Peptide, Peptide MW, a Y5-W13 dyad is formed diagonally across the strand and distorts the backbone. On a picosecond timescale, the W* excited-state decay kinetics are similar in all peptides but are accelerated relative to amino acids in solution. In Peptide MW, the W* spectrum is consistent with increased conformational flexibility. In Peptide M and MW, the electron paramagnetic resonance spectra obtained after UV photolysis are characteristic of tyrosine and tryptophan radicals at 160 K. Notably, at pH 9, the radical photolysis yield is decreased in Peptide M and MW, compared to that in a tyrosine and tryptophan mixture. This protective effect is not observed at pH 11 and is not observed in peptides containing a tryptophan-histidine dyad or tryptophan alone. The YW dyad protective effect is attributed to an increase in the radical recombination rate. This increase in rate can be facilitated by hydrogen-bonding interactions, which lower the barrier for the PCET reaction at pH 9. These results suggest that the YW dyad structural motif promotes radical quenching under conditions of reactive oxygen stress.
Project description:The formation of radicals in bovine cytochrome c oxidase (bCcO), during the O(2) redox chemistry and proton translocation, is an unresolved controversial issue. To determine if radicals are formed in the catalytic reaction of bCcO under single turnover conditions, the reaction of O(2) with the enzyme, reduced by either ascorbate or dithionite, was initiated in a custom-built rapid freeze quenching (RFQ) device and the products were trapped at 77K at reaction times ranging from 50?s to 6ms. Additional samples were hand mixed to attain multiple turnover conditions and quenched with a reaction time of minutes. X-band (9GHz) continuous wave electron paramagnetic resonance (CW-EPR) spectra of the reaction products revealed the formation of a narrow radical with both reductants. D-band (130GHz) pulsed EPR spectra allowed for the determination of the g-tensor principal values and revealed that when ascorbate was used as the reductant the dominant radical species was localized on the ascorbyl moiety, and when dithionite was used as the reductant the radical was the SO(2)(-) ion. When the contributions from the reductants are subtracted from the spectra, no evidence for a protein-based radical could be found in the reaction of O(2) with reduced bCcO. As a surrogate for radicals formed on reaction intermediates, the reaction of hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) with oxidized bCcO was studied at pH 6 and pH 8 by trapping the products at 50?s with the RFQ device to determine the initial reaction events. For comparison, radicals formed after several minutes of incubation were also examined, and X-band and D-band analysis led to the identification of radicals on Tyr-244 and Tyr-129. In the RFQ measurements, a peroxyl (ROO) species was formed, presumably by the reaction between O(2) and an amino acid-based radical. It is postulated that Tyr-129 may play a central role as a proton loading site during proton translocation by ejecting a proton upon formation of the radical species and then becoming reprotonated during its reduction via a chain of three water molecules originating from the region of the propionate groups of heme a(3). This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: "Allosteric cooperativity in respiratory proteins".
Project description:Prior to 1950, the consensus was that biological transformations occurred in two-electron steps, thereby avoiding the generation of free radicals. Dramatic advances in spectroscopy, biochemistry, and molecular biology have led to the realization that protein-based radicals participate in a vast array of vital biological mechanisms. Redox processes involving high-potential intermediates formed in reactions with O2 are particularly susceptible to radical formation. Clusters of tyrosine (Tyr) and tryptophan (Trp) residues have been found in many O2-reactive enzymes, raising the possibility that they play an antioxidant protective role. In blue copper proteins with plastocyanin-like domains, Tyr/Trp clusters are uncommon in the low-potential single-domain electron-transfer proteins and in the two-domain copper nitrite reductases. The two-domain muticopper oxidases, however, exhibit clusters of Tyr and Trp residues near the trinuclear copper active site where O2 is reduced. These clusters may play a protective role to ensure that reactive oxygen species are not liberated during O2 reduction.
Project description:Most studies on the antioxidant activity of flavonoids like Quercetin (Q) do not consider that it comprises a series of sequential reactions. Therefore, the present study examines how the redox energy flows through the molecule during Q's antioxidant activity, by combining experimental data with quantum calculations. It appears that several main pathways are possible. Pivotal are subsequently: deprotonation of the 7-OH group; intramolecular hydrogen transfer from the 3-OH group to the 4-Oxygen atom; electron transfer leading to two conformers of the Q radical; deprotonation of the OH groups in the B-ring, leading to three different deprotonated Q radicals; and finally electron transfer of each deprotonated Q radical to form the corresponding quercetin quinones. The quinone in which the carbonyl groups are the most separated has the lowest energy content, and is the most abundant quinone. The pathways are also intertwined. The calculations show that Q can pick up redox energy at various sites of the molecule which explains Q's ability to scavenge all sorts of reactive oxidizing species. In the described pathways, Q picked up, e.g., two hydroxyl radicals, which can be processed and softened by forming quercetin quinone.
Project description:Transient tyrosine and tryptophan radicals play key roles in the electron transfer (ET) reactions of photosystem (PS) II, ribonucleotide reductase (RNR), photolyase, and many other proteins. However, Tyr and Trp are not functionally interchangeable, and the factors controlling their reactivity are often unclear. Cytochrome c peroxidase (CcP) employs a Trp191•+ radical to oxidize reduced cytochrome c (Cc). Although a Tyr191 replacement also forms a stable radical, it does not support rapid ET from Cc. Here we probe the redox properties of CcP Y191 by non-natural amino acid substitution, altering the ET driving force and manipulating the protic environment of Y191. Higher potential fluorotyrosine residues increase ET rates marginally, but only addition of a hydrogen bond donor to Tyr191• (via Leu232His or Glu) substantially alters activity by increasing the ET rate by nearly 30-fold. ESR and ESEEM spectroscopies, crystallography, and pH-dependent ET kinetics provide strong evidence for hydrogen bond formation to Y191• by His232/Glu232. Rate measurements and rapid freeze quench ESR spectroscopy further reveal differences in radical propagation and Cc oxidation that support an increased Y191• formal potential of ?200 mV in the presence of E232. Hence, Y191 inactivity results from a potential drop owing to Y191•+ deprotonation. Incorporation of a well-positioned base to accept and donate back a hydrogen bond upshifts the Tyr• potential into a range where it can effectively oxidize Cc. These findings have implications for the YZ/YD radicals of PS II, hole-hopping in RNR and cryptochrome, and engineering proteins for long-range ET reactions.
Project description:Photosystem II (PSII) of oxygenic photosynthesis captures sunlight to drive the catalytic oxidation of water and the reduction of plastoquinone. Among the several redox-active cofactors that participate in intricate electron transfer pathways there are two tyrosine residues, YZ and YD. They are situated in symmetry-related electron transfer branches but have different environments and play distinct roles. YZ is the immediate oxidant of the oxygen-evolving Mn4CaO5 cluster, whereas YD serves regulatory and protective functions. The protonation states and hydrogen-bond network in the environment of YD remain debated, while the role of microsolvation in stabilizing different redox states of YD and facilitating oxidation or mediating deprotonation, as well the fate of the phenolic proton, is unclear. Here we present detailed structural models of YD and its environment using large-scale quantum mechanical models and all-atom molecular dynamics of a complete PSII monomer. The energetics of water distribution within a hydrophobic cavity adjacent to YD are shown to correlate directly with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) parameters such as the tyrosyl g-tensor, allowing us to map the correspondence between specific structural models and available experimental observations. EPR spectra obtained under different conditions are explained with respect to the mode of interaction of the proximal water with the tyrosyl radical and the position of the phenolic proton within the cavity. Our results revise previous models of the energetics and build a detailed view of the role of confined water in the oxidation and deprotonation of YD. Finally, the model of microsolvation developed in the present work rationalizes in a straightforward way the biphasic oxidation kinetics of YD, offering new structural insights regarding the function of the radical in biological photosynthesis.
Project description:Decarboxylative functionalization via hydrogen atom transfer offers an attractive alternative to standard redox approaches to this important class of transformations. Herein, we report a direct decarboxylative functionalization of aliphatic carboxylic acids using N-xanthylamides. The unique reactivity of amidyl radicals in hydrogen atom transfer enables decarboxylative xanthylation under redox-neutral conditions. This platform provides expedient access to a range of derivatives through subsequent elaboration of the xanthate group.