Insight into the Structure and Mechanism of Nickel-Containing Superoxide Dismutase Derived from Peptide-Based Mimics

2014-08-19T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Jason Shearer
ConspectusNickel superoxide dismutase (NiSOD) is a nickel-containing metalloenzyme that catalyzes the disproportionation of superoxide through a ping-pong mechanism that relies on accessing reduced Ni­(II) and oxidized Ni­(III) oxidation states. NiSOD is the most recently discovered SOD. Unlike the other known SODs (MnSOD, FeSOD, and (CuZn)­SOD), which utilize “typical” biological nitrogen and oxygen donors, NiSOD utilizes a rather unexpected ligand set. In the reduced Ni­(II) oxidation state, NiSOD utilizes nitrogen ligands derived from the N-terminal amine and an amidate along with two cysteinates sulfur donors. These are unusual biological ligands, especially for an SOD: amine and amidate donors are underrepresented as biological ligands, whereas cysteinates are highly susceptible to oxidative damage. An axial histidine imidazole binds to nickel upon oxidation to Ni­(III). This bond is long (2.3–2.6 Å) owing to a tight hydrogen-bonding network.All of the ligating residues to Ni­(II) and Ni­(III) are found within the first 6 residues from the NiSOD N-terminus. Thus, small nickel-containing metallopeptides derived from the first 6–12 residues of the NiSOD sequence can reproduce many of the properties of NiSOD itself. Using these nickel-containing metallopeptide-based NiSOD mimics, we have shown that the minimal sequence needed for nickel binding and reproduction of the structural, spectroscopic, and functional properties of NiSOD is H2N-HCXXPC.Insight into how NiSOD avoids oxidative damage has also been gained. Using small NiN2S2 complexes and metallopeptide-based mimics, it was shown that the unusual nitrogen donor atoms protect the cysteinates from oxidative damage (both one-electron oxidation and oxygen atom insertion reactions) by fine-tuning the electronic structure of the nickel center. Changing the nitrogen donor set to a bis-amidate or bis-amine nitrogen donor led to catalytically nonviable species owing to nickel–cysteinate bond oxidative damage. Only the amine/amidate nitrogen donor atoms within the NiSOD ligand set produce a catalytically viable species.These metallopeptide-based mimics have also hinted at the detailed mechanism of SOD catalysis by NiSOD. One such aspect is that the axial imidazole likely remains ligated to the Ni center under rapid catalytic conditions (i.e., high superoxide loads). This reduces the degree of structural rearrangement about the nickel center, leading to higher catalytic rates. Metallopeptide-based mimics have also shown that, although an axial ligand to Ni­(III) is required for catalysis, the rates are highest when this is a weak interaction, suggesting a reason for the long axial His–Ni­(III) bond found in NiSOD. These mimics have also suggested a surprising mechanistic insight: O2 reduction via a “H” tunneling event from a R–S­(H+)–Ni­(II) moiety to O2 is possible. The importance of this mechanism in NiSOD has not been verified.