Shewanella oneidensis cytochrome c nitrite reductase (ccNiR) does not disproportionate hydroxylamine to ammonia and nitrite, despite a strongly favorable driving force.
ABSTRACT: Cytochrome c nitrite reductase (ccNiR) from Shewanella oneidensis, which catalyzes the six-electron reduction of nitrite to ammonia in vivo, was shown to oxidize hydroxylamine in the presence of large quantities of this substrate, yielding nitrite as the sole free nitrogenous product. UV-visible stopped-flow and rapid-freeze-quench electron paramagnetic resonance data, along with product analysis, showed that the equilibrium between hydroxylamine and nitrite is fairly rapidly established in the presence of high initial concentrations of hydroxylamine, despite said equilibrium lying far to the left. By contrast, reduction of hydroxylamine to ammonia did not occur, even though disproportionation of hydroxylamine to yield both nitrite and ammonia is strongly thermodynamically favored. This suggests a kinetic barrier to the ccNiR-catalyzed reduction of hydroxylamine to ammonia. A mechanism for hydroxylamine reduction is proposed in which the hydroxide group is first protonated and released as water, leaving what is formally an NH2(+) moiety bound at the heme active site. This species could be a metastable intermediate or a transition state but in either case would exist only if it were stabilized by the donation of electrons from the ccNiR heme pool into the empty nitrogen p orbital. In this scenario, ccNiR does not catalyze disproportionation because the electron-donating hydroxylamine does not poise the enzyme at a sufficiently low potential to stabilize the putative dehydrated hydroxylamine; presumably, a stronger reductant is required for this.
Project description:The high-yield expression and purification of Shewanella oneidensis cytochrome c nitrite reductase (ccNiR) and its characterization by a variety of methods, notably Laue crystallography, are reported. A key component of the expression system is an artificial ccNiR gene in which the N-terminal signal peptide from the highly expressed S. oneidensis protein "small tetraheme c" replaces the wild-type signal peptide. This gene, inserted into the plasmid pHSG298 and expressed in S. oneidensis TSP-1 strain, generated approximately 20 mg crude ccNiR per liter of culture, compared with 0.5-1 mg/L for untransformed cells. Purified ccNiR has nitrite and hydroxylamine reductase activities comparable to those previously reported for Escherichia coli ccNiR, and is stable for over 2 weeks in pH 7 solution at 4 °C. UV/vis spectropotentiometric titrations and protein film voltammetry identified five independent one-electron reduction processes. Global analysis of the spectropotentiometric data also allowed determination of the extinction coefficient spectra for the five reduced ccNiR species. The characteristics of the individual extinction coefficient spectra suggest that, within each reduced species, the electrons are distributed among the various hemes, rather than being localized on specific heme centers. The purified ccNiR yielded good-quality crystals, with which the 2.59-Å-resolution structure was solved at room temperature using the Laue diffraction method. The structure is similar to that of E. coli ccNiR, except in the region where the enzyme interacts with its physiological electron donor (CymA in the case of S. oneidensis ccNiR, NrfB in the case of the E. coli protein).
Project description:Multielectron multiproton reactions play an important role in both biological systems and chemical reactions involved in energy storage and manipulation. A key strategy employed by nature in achieving such complex chemistry is the use of proton-coupled redox steps. Cytochrome c nitrite reductase (ccNiR) catalyzes the six-electron seven-proton reduction of nitrite to ammonia. While a catalytic mechanism for ccNiR has been proposed on the basis of studies combining computation and crystallography, there have been few studies directly addressing the nature of the proton-coupled events that are predicted to occur along the nitrite reduction pathway. Here we use protein film voltammetry to directly interrogate the proton-coupled steps that occur during nitrite reduction by ccNiR. We find that conversion of nitrite to ammonia by ccNiR adsorbed to graphite electrodes is defined by two distinct phases; one is proton-coupled, and the other is not. Mutation of key active site residues (H257, R103, and Y206) modulates these phases and specifically alters the properties of the detected proton-dependent step but does not inhibit the ability of ccNiR to conduct the full reduction of nitrite to ammonia. We conclude that the active site residues examined are responsible for tuning the protonation steps that occur during catalysis, likely through an extensive hydrogen bonding network, but are not necessarily required for the reaction to proceed. These results provide important insight into how enzymes can specifically tune proton- and electron transfer steps to achieve high turnover numbers in a physiological pH range.
Project description:The cytochrome c nitrite reductase (ccNiR) from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774 is able to reduce nitrite to ammonia in a six-electron transfer reaction. Although extensively characterized from the spectroscopic and structural points-of-view, some of its kinetic aspects are still under explored. In this work the kinetic behaviour of ccNiR has been evaluated in a systematic manner using two different spectrophotometric assays carried out in the presence of different redox mediators and a direct electrochemical approach. Solution assays have proved that the specific activity of ccNiR decreases with the reduction potential of the electronic carriers and ammonium is always the main product of nitrite reduction. The catalytic parameters were discussed on the basis of the mediator reducing power and also taking into account the location of their putative docking sites with ccNiR. Due to the fast kinetics of ccNiR, electron delivering from reduced electron donors is rate-limiting in all spectrophotometric assays, so the estimated kinetic constants are apparent only. Nevertheless, this limitation could be overcome by using a direct electrochemical approach which shows that the binding affinity for nitrite decreases whilst turnover increases with the reductive driving force.
Project description:1. Enzyme systems from Cucurbita pepo have been shown to catalyse the reduction of nitrite and hydroxylamine to ammonia in yields about 90-100%. 2. Reduced benzyl viologen serves as an efficient electron donor for both systems. Activity of the nitrite-reductase system is directly related to degree of dye reduction when expressed in terms of the function for oxidation-reduction potentials, but appears to decrease to negligible activity below about 9% dye reduction. 3. NADH and NADPH alone produce negligible nitrite loss, but NADPH can be linked to an endogenous diaphorase system to reduce nitrite to ammonia in the presence of catalytic amounts of benzyl viologen. 4. The NADH- or NADPH-nitrate-reductase system that is also present can accept electrons from reduced benzyl viologen, but shows relationships opposite to that for the nitrite-reductase system with regard to effect of degree of dye reduction on activity. The product of nitrate reduction may be nitrite alone, or nitrite and ammonia, or ammonia alone, according only to the degree of dye reduction. 5. The relative activities of nitrite-reductase and hydroxylamine-reductase systems show different relationships with degree of dye reduction and may become reversed in magnitude when effects of degree of dye reduction are tested over a suitable range. 6. Nitrite severely inhibits the rate of reduction of hydroxylamine without affecting the yield of ammonia as a percentage of total substrate loss, but hydroxylamine has a negligible effect on the activity of the nitrite-reductase system. 7. The apparent K(m) for nitrite (1 mum) is substantially less than that for hydroxylamine, for which variable values between 0.05 and 0.9mm (mean 0.51 mm) have been observed. 8. The apparent K(m) values for reduced benzyl viologen differ for the nitrite-reductase and hydroxylamine-reductase systems: 60 and 7.5 mum respectively. 9. It is concluded that free hydroxylamine may not be an intermediate in the reduction of nitrite to ammonia by plants, and a possible mechanism for reduction of both compounds by the same enzyme system is discussed in the light of current ideas relating to other organisms.
Project description:Investigations of reduction of nitrite (NO2(-)) to ammonia (NH3) by nitrogenase indicate a limiting stoichiometry, NO2(-) + 6e(-) + 12ATP + 7H(+) ? NH3 + 2H2O + 12ADP + 12Pi. Two intermediates freeze-trapped during NO2(-) turnover by nitrogenase variants and investigated by Q-band ENDOR/ESEEM are identical to states, denoted H and I, formed on the pathway of N2 reduction. The proposed NO2(-) reduction intermediate hydroxylamine (NH2OH) is a nitrogenase substrate for which the H and I reduction intermediates also can be trapped. Viewing N2 and NO2(-) reductions in light of their common reduction intermediates and of NO2(-) reduction by multiheme cytochrome c nitrite reductase (ccNIR) leads us to propose that NO2(-) reduction by nitrogenase begins with the generation of NO2H bound to a state in which the active-site FeMo-co (M) has accumulated two [e(-)/H(+)] (E2), stored as a (bridging) hydride and proton. Proton transfer to NO2H and H2O loss leaves M-[NO(+)]; transfer of the E2 hydride to the [NO(+)] directly to form HNO bound to FeMo-co is one of two alternative means for avoiding formation of a terminal M-[NO] thermodynamic "sink". The N2 and NO2(-) reduction pathways converge upon reduction of NH2NH2 and NH2OH bound states to form state H with [-NH2] bound to M. Final reduction converts H to I, with NH3 bound to M. The results presented here, combined with the parallels with ccNIR, support a N2 fixation mechanism in which liberation of the first NH3 occurs upon delivery of five [e(-)/H(+)] to N2, but a total of seven [e(-)/H(+)] to FeMo-co when obligate H2 evolution is considered, and not earlier in the reduction process.
Project description:The ferredoxin-dependent nitrite reductase from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has been cloned, expressed in Escherichia coli as a His-tagged recombinant protein, and purified to homogeneity. The spectra, kinetic properties and substrate-binding parameters of the C. reinhardtii enzyme are quite similar to those of the ferredoxin-dependent spinach chloroplast nitrite reductase. Computer modeling, based on the published structure of spinach nitrite reductase, predicts that the structure of C. reinhardtii nitrite reductase will be similar to that of the spinach enzyme. Chemical modification studies and the ionic-strength dependence of the enzyme's ability to interact with ferredoxin are consistent with the involvement of arginine and lysine residues on C. reinhardtii nitrite reductase in electrostatically-stabilized binding to ferredoxin. The C. reinhardtii enzyme has been used to demonstrate that hydroxylamine can serve as an electron-accepting substrate for the enzyme and that the product of hydroxylamine reduction is ammonia, providing the first experimental evidence for the hypothesis that hydroxylamine, bound to the enzyme, can serve as a late intermediate during the reduction of nitrite to ammonia catalyzed by the enzyme.
Project description:Nitrite reductase was purified between 760- and 1300-fold from vegetable marrow (Cucurbita pepo L.) and residual hydroxylamine reductase activity was low or negligible by comparison. With ferredoxin as electron donor, nitrite loss and ammonia formation at pH7.5 were stoicheiometrically equivalent. Crude nitrite reductase preparations showed negligible activity with NADPH as electron donor maintained in the reduced state by glucose 6-phosphate, whereas by comparison, activity was high when either ferredoxin or benzyl viologen were also present and reduced by the NADPH-glucose 6-phosphate system, whereas FMNH(2) produced variable and relatively low activity under the same conditions. At pH values below 7, non-enzymic reactions occurred between reduced benzyl viologen and nitrite, and intermediate reduction products were inferred to be produced instead of ammonia. Activity with ferredoxin (0.1mm), reduced by chloroplast grana in the light, was 25 times that produced with ferredoxin (40mum) reduced with NADPH and glucose 6-phosphate. For an approximate molecular weight 61000-63000 derived by chromatography on Sephadex G-100 and G-200, and a specific activity of 46mumol of nitrite reduced/min per mg of protein with light and chloroplast grana, a minimum turnover number of 3x10(3)mol of nitrite reduced/min per mol of enzyme was found. Two hydroxylamine reductases were separated on Sephadex gels. One (HR1) was initially associated with nitrite reductase during gel filtration but disappeared during later fractionation. This HR1 fraction showed nearly comparable activity with reduced benzyl viologen, ferredoxin or FMNH(2). The other (HR2), of molecular weight approx. 35000, reacted with reduced benzyl viologen but showed negligible activity with ferredoxin or NADPH. Activity with FMNH(2) was associated with an irregular trailing boundary during gel filtration, with much diminished activity in the HR2 region. Activity with NADPH was about 30% of that with FMNH(2), reduced benzyl viologen or ferredoxin and was considered to reside in fraction HR1. Hydroxylamine yielded ammonia under all assay conditions. No activity with hyponitrite or sulphite was observed with reduced benzyl viologen as electron donor in either the nitrite reductase or the hydroxylamine reductase systems, but pyruvic oxime produced about 4% of the activity of hydroxylamine.
Project description:1. Cells of Nitrosomonas europaea produced N(2)O during the oxidation of ammonia and hydroxylamine. 2. The end-product of ammonia oxidation, nitrite, was the predominant source of N(2)O in cells. 3. Cells also produced N(2)O, but not N(2) gas, by the reduction of nitrite under anaerobic conditions. 4. Hydroxylamine was oxidized by cell-free extracts to yield nitrite and N(2)O aerobically, but to yield N(2)O and NO anaerobically. 5. Cell extracts reduced nitrite both aerobically and anaerobically to NO and N(2)O with hydroxylamine as an electron donor. 6. The relative amounts of NO and N(2)O produced during hydroxylamine oxidation and/or nitrite reduction are dependent on the type of artificial electron acceptor utilized. 7. Partially purified hydroxylamine oxidase retained nitrite reductase activity but cytochrome oxidase was absent. 8. There is a close association of hydroxylamine oxidase and nitrite reductase activities in purified preparations.
Project description:Aerobic ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) play a crucial role in the global nitrogen cycle by oxidizing ammonia to nitrite, and nitric oxide (NO) is a key intermediate in AOA for sustaining aerobic ammonia oxidation activity. We herein heterologously expressed the NO-forming, copper-containing, dissimilatory nitrite reductase (NirK) from Nitrososphaera viennensis and investigated its enzymatic properties. The recombinant protein catalyzed the reduction of 15NO2- to 15NO, the oxidation of hydroxylamine (15NH2OH) to 15NO, and the production of 14-15N2O from 15NH2OH and 14NO2-. To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to document the enzymatic properties of AOA NirK.
Project description:Shewanella oneidensis cytochrome c nitrite reductase (soNrfA), a dimeric enzyme that houses five c-type hemes per protomer, conducts the six-electron reduction of nitrite and the two-electron reduction of hydroxylamine. Protein film voltammetry (PFV) has been used to study the cytochrome c nitrite reductase from Escherichia coli (ecNrfA) previously, revealing catalytic reduction of both nitrite and hydroxylamine substrates by ecNrfA adsorbed to a graphite electrode that is characterized by "boosts" and attenuations in activity depending on the applied potential. Here, we use PFV to investigate the catalytic properties of soNrfA during both nitrite and hydroxylamine turnover and compare those properties to the properties of ecNrfA. Distinct differences in both the electrochemical and kinetic characteristics of soNrfA are observed; e.g., all detected electron transfer steps are one-electron in nature, contrary to what has been observed in ecNrfA [Angove, H. C., Cole, J. A., Richardson, D. J., and Butt, J. N. (2002) J. Biol. Chem. 277, 23374-23381]. Additionally, we find evidence of substrate inhibition during nitrite turnover and negative cooperativity during hydroxylamine turnover, neither of which has previously been observed in any cytochrome c nitrite reductase. Collectively, these data provide evidence that during catalysis, potential pathways of communication exist between the individual soNrfA monomers comprising the native homodimer.