Electron transfer control in soluble methane monooxygenase.
ABSTRACT: The hydroxylation or epoxidation of hydrocarbons by bacterial multicomponent monooxygenases (BMMs) requires the interplay of three or four protein components. How component protein interactions control catalysis, however, is not well understood. In particular, the binding sites of the reductase components on the surface of their cognate hydroxylases and the role(s) that the regulatory proteins play during intermolecular electron transfer leading to the hydroxylase reduction have been enigmatic. Here we determine the reductase binding site on the hydroxylase of a BMM enzyme, soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO) from Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath). We present evidence that the ferredoxin domain of the reductase binds to the canyon region of the hydroxylase, previously determined to be the regulatory protein binding site as well. The latter thus inhibits reductase binding to the hydroxylase and, consequently, intermolecular electron transfer from the reductase to the hydroxylase diiron active site. The binding competition between the regulatory protein and the reductase may serve as a control mechanism for regulating electron transfer, and other BMM enzymes are likely to adopt the same mechanism.
Project description:A fundamental goal in catalysis is the coupling of multiple reactions to yield a desired product. Enzymes have evolved elegant approaches to address this grand challenge. A salient example is the biological conversion of methane to methanol catalyzed by soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO), a member of the bacterial multicomponent monooxygenase (BMM) superfamily. sMMO is a dynamic protein complex of three components: a hydroxylase, a reductase, and a regulatory protein. The active site, a carboxylate-rich non-heme diiron center, is buried inside the 251 kDa hydroxylase component. The enzyme processes four substrates: O2, protons, electrons, and methane. To couple O2 activation to methane oxidation, timely control of substrate access to the active site is critical. Recent studies of sMMO, as well as its homologues in the BMM superfamily, have begun to unravel the mechanism. The emerging and unifying picture reveals that each substrate gains access to the active site along a specific pathway through the hydroxylase. Electrons and protons are delivered via a three-amino-acid pore located adjacent to the diiron center; O2 migrates via a series of hydrophobic cavities; and hydrocarbon substrates reach the active site through a channel or linked set of cavities. The gating of these pathways mediates entry of each substrate to the diiron active site in a timed sequence and is coordinated by dynamic interactions with the other component proteins. The result is coupling of dioxygen consumption with hydrocarbon oxidation, avoiding unproductive oxidation of the reductant rather than the desired hydrocarbon. To initiate catalysis, the reductase delivers two electrons to the diiron(III) center by binding over the pore of the hydroxylase. The regulatory component then displaces the reductase, docking onto the same surface of the hydroxylase. Formation of the hydroxylase-regulatory component complex (i) induces conformational changes of pore residues that may bring protons to the active site; (ii) connects hydrophobic cavities in the hydroxylase leading from the exterior to the diiron active site, providing a pathway for O2 and methane, in the case of sMMO, to the reduced diiron center for O2 activation and substrate hydroxylation; (iii) closes the pore, as well as a channel in the case of four-component BMM enzymes, restricting proton access to the diiron center during formation of "Fe2O2" intermediates required for hydrocarbon oxidation; and (iv) inhibits undesired electron transfer to the Fe2O2 intermediates by blocking reductase binding during O2 activation. This mechanism is quite different from that adopted by cytochromes P450, a large class of heme-containing monooxygenases that catalyze reactions very similar to those catalyzed by the BMM enzymes. Understanding the timed enzyme control of substrate access has implications for designing artificial catalysts. To achieve multiple turnovers and tight coupling, synthetic models must also control substrate access, a major challenge considering that nature requires large, multimeric, dynamic protein complexes to accomplish this feat.
Project description:In all structurally characterized bacterial multicomponent monooxygenase (BMM) hydroxylase proteins, a series of hydrophobic cavities in the ?-subunit trace a conserved path from the protein exterior to the carboxylate-bridged diiron active site. This study examines these cavities as a potential route for transport of dioxygen to the active site by crystallographic characterization of a xenon-pressurized sample of the hydroxylase component of phenol hydroxylase from Pseudomonas sp. OX1. Computational analyses of the hydrophobic cavities in the hydroxylase ?-subunits of phenol hydroxylase (PHH), soluble methane monooxygenase (MMOH), and toluene/o-xylene monooxygenase (ToMOH) are also presented. The results, together with previous findings from crystallographic studies of xenon-pressurized sMMO hydroxylase, clearly identify the propensity for these cavities to bind hydrophobic gas molecules in the protein interior. This proposed functional role is supported by recent stopped flow kinetic studies of ToMOH variants [Song, W. J., et al. (2011) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.108, 14795-14800]. In addition to information about the Xe sites, the structure determination revealed significantly weakened binding of regulatory protein to the hydroxylase in comparison to that in the previously reported structure of PHH, as well as the presence of a newly identified metal-binding site in the ?-subunit that adopts a linear coordination environment consistent with Cu(I), and a glycerol molecule bound to Fe1 in a fashion that is unique among hydrocarbon-diiron site adducts reported to date in BMM hydroxylase structures. Finally, a comparative analysis of the ?-subunit structures of PHH, MMOH, and ToMOH details proposed routes for the other three BMM substrates, the hydrocarbon, electrons, and protons, comprising cavities, channels, hydrogen-bonding networks, and pores in the structures of their ?-subunits.
Project description:Phenol hydroxylase (PH) belongs to a family of bacterial multicomponent monooxygenases (BMMs) with carboxylate-bridged diiron active sites. Included are toluene/o-xylene (ToMO) and soluble methane (sMMO) monooxygenase. PH hydroxylates aromatic compounds, but unlike sMMO, it cannot oxidize alkanes despite having a similar dinuclear iron active site. Important for activity is formation of a complex between the hydroxylase and a regulatory protein component. To address how structural features of BMM hydroxylases and their component complexes may facilitate the catalytic mechanism and choice of substrate, we determined X-ray structures of native and SeMet forms of the PH hydroxylase (PHH) in complex with its regulatory protein (PHM) to 2.3 A resolution. PHM binds in a canyon on one side of the (alphabetagamma)2 PHH dimer, contacting alpha-subunit helices A, E, and F approximately 12 A above the diiron core. The structure of the dinuclear iron center in PHH resembles that of mixed-valent MMOH, suggesting an Fe(II)Fe(III) oxidation state. Helix E, which comprises part of the iron-coordinating four-helix bundle, has more pi-helical character than analogous E helices in MMOH and ToMOH lacking a bound regulatory protein. Consequently, conserved active site Thr and Asn residues translocate to the protein surface, and an approximately 6 A pore opens through the four-helix bundle. Of likely functional significance is a specific hydrogen bond formed between this Asn residue and a conserved Ser side chain on PHM. The PHM protein covers a putative docking site on PHH for the PH reductase, which transfers electrons to the PHH diiron center prior to O2 activation, suggesting that the regulatory component may function to block undesired reduction of oxygenated intermediates during the catalytic cycle. A series of hydrophobic cavities through the PHH alpha-subunit, analogous to those in MMOH, may facilitate movement of the substrate to and/or product from the active site pocket. Comparisons between the ToMOH and PHH structures provide insights into their substrate regiospecificities.
Project description:The soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO; EC 188.8.131.52) from the pseudothermophile Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath) is a three-component enzyme system that catalyzes the selective oxidation of methane to methanol. We have used NMR spectroscopy to produce a highly refined structure of MMOB, the 16-kDa regulatory protein of this system. This structure has a unique and intricate fold containing seven beta-strands forming two beta-sheets oriented perpendicular to each other and bridged by three alpha-helices. The rate and efficiency of the methane hydroxylation by sMMO depend on dynamic binding interactions of the hydroxylase with the reductase and regulatory protein components during catalysis. We have monitored by NMR the binding of MMOB to the hydroxylase in the presence and absence of the reductase. The results of these studies provide structural insight into how the regulatory protein interacts with the hydroxylase.
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: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:Methane gas is produced from many natural and anthropogenic sources. As such, methane gas plays a significant role in the Earth's climate, being 25 times more effective as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. As with nearly all other naturally produced organic molecules on Earth, there are also micro-organisms capable of using methane as their sole source of carbon and energy. The microbes responsible (methanotrophs) are ubiquitous and, for the most part, aerobic. Although anaerobic methanotrophs are believed to exist, so far, none have been isolated in pure culture. Methanotrophs have been known to exist for over 100 years; however, it is only in the last 30 years that we have begun to understand their physiology and biochemistry. Their unique ability to use methane for growth is attributed to the presence of a multicomponent enzyme system-methane monooxygenase (MMO)-which has two distinct forms: soluble (sMMO) and membrane-associated (pMMO); however, both convert methane into the readily assimilable product, methanol. Our understanding of how bacteria are capable of effecting one of the most difficult reactions in chemistry-namely, the controlled oxidation of methane to methanol-has been made possible by the isolation, in pure form, of the enzyme components.The mechanism by which methane is activated by sMMO involves abstraction of a hydrogen atom from methane by a high-valence iron species (FeIV or possibly FeV) in the hydroxylase component of the MMO complex to form a methyl radical. The radical combines with a captive oxygen atom from dioxygen to form the reaction product, methanol, which is further metabolized by the cell to produce multicarbon intermediates. Regulation of the sMMO system relies on the remarkable properties of an effector protein, protein B. This protein is capable of facilitating component interactions in the presence of substrate, modifying the redox potential of the diiron species at the active site. These interactions permit access of substrates to the hydroxylase, coupling electron transfer by the reductase with substrate oxidation and affecting the rate and regioselectivity of the overall reaction. The membrane-associated form is less well researched than the soluble enzyme, but is known to contain copper at the active site and probably iron. From an applied perspective, methanotrophs have enjoyed variable successes. Whole cells have been used as a source of single-cell protein (SCP) since the 1970s, and although most plants have been mothballed, there is still one currently in production. Our earlier observations that sMMO was capable of inserting an oxygen atom from dioxygen into a wide variety of hydrocarbon (and some non-hydrocarbon) substrates has been exploited to either produce value added products (e.g. epoxypropane from propene), or in the bioremediation of pollutants such as chlorinated hydrocarbons. Because we have shown that it is now possible to drive the reaction using electricity instead of expensive chemicals, there is promise that the system could be exploited as a sensor for any of the substrates of the enzyme.
Project description:Methane monooxygenase (MMO) catalyzes the oxidation of methane to methanol as the first step of methane degradation. A soluble NAD(P)H-dependent methane monooxygenase (sMMO) from the type II methanotrophic bacterium WI 14 was purified to homogeneity. Sequencing of the 16S rDNA and comparison with that of other known methanotrophic bacteria confirmed that strain WI 14 is very close to the genus Methylocystis. The sMMO is expressed only during growth under copper limitation (<0.1 microM) and with ammonium or nitrate ions as the nitrogen source. The enzyme exhibits a low substrate specificity and is able to oxidize several alkanes and alkenes, cyclic hydrocarbons, aromatics, and halogenic aromatics. It has three components, hydroxylase, reductase and protein B, which is involved in enzyme regulation and increases sMMO activity about 10-fold. The relative molecular masses of the native components were estimated to be 229, 41, and 18 kDa, respectively. The hydroxylase contains three subunits with relative molecular masses of 57, 43, and 23 kDa, which are present in stoichiometric amounts, suggesting that the native protein has an alpha(2)beta(2)gamma(2) structure. We detected 3.6 mol of iron per mol of hydroxylase by atomic absorption spectrometry. sMMO is strongly inhibited by Hg(2+) ions (with a total loss of enzyme activity at 0.01 mM Hg(2+)) and Cu(2+), Zn(2+), and Ni(2+) ions (95, 80, and 40% loss of activity at 1 mM ions). The complete sMMO gene sequence has been determined. sMMO genes from strain WI 14 are clustered on the chromosome and show a high degree of homology (at both the nucleotide and amino acid levels) to the corresponding genes from Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b, Methylocystis sp. strain M, and Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath).
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:Many pathogenic microorganisms have evolved hemoglobin-mediated nitric oxide (NO) detoxification mechanisms, where a globin domain in conjunction with a partner reductase catalyzes the conversion of toxic NO to innocuous nitrate. The truncated hemoglobin HbN of Mycobacterium tuberculosis displays a potent NO dioxygenase activity despite lacking a reductase domain. The mechanism by which HbN recycles itself during NO dioxygenation and the reductase that participates in this process are currently unknown. This study demonstrates that the NADH-ferredoxin/flavodoxin system is a fairly efficient partner for electron transfer to HbN with an observed reduction rate of 6.2 ?M/min(-1), which is nearly 3- and 5-fold faster than reported for Vitreoscilla hemoglobin and myoglobin, respectively. Structural docking of the HbN with Escherichia coli NADH-flavodoxin reductase (FdR) together with site-directed mutagenesis revealed that the CD loop of the HbN forms contacts with the reductase, and that Gly(48) may have a vital role. The donor to acceptor electron coupling parameters calculated using the semiempirical pathway method amounts to an average of about 6.4 10(-5) eV, which is lower than the value obtained for E. coli flavoHb (8.0 10(-4) eV), but still supports the feasibility of an efficient electron transfer. The deletion of Pre-A abrogated the heme iron reduction by FdR in the HbN, thus signifying its involvement during intermolecular interactions of the HbN and FdR. The present study, thus, unravels a novel role of the CD loop and Pre-A motif in assisting the interactions of the HbN with the reductase and the electron cycling, which may be vital for its NO-scavenging function.