Mössbauer Characterization of an Unusual High-Spin Side-On Peroxo−Fe3+ Species in the Active Site of Superoxide Reductase from Desulfoarculus baarsii. Density Functional Calculations on Related Models

Superoxide reductase (SOR) is an Fe protein that catalyzes the reduction of superoxide to give H2O2. Recently, the mutation of the Glu47 residue into alanine (E47A) in the active site of SOR from Desulfoarculus baarsii has allowed the stabilization of an iron−peroxo species when quickly reacted with H2O2 [Mathé et al. (2002) J. Am. Chem. Soc. 124, 4966−4967]. To further investigate this non-heme peroxo−iron species, we have carried out a Mössbauer study of the 57Fe-enriched E47A SOR from D. baarsii reacted quickly with H2O2. Considering the Mössbauer data, we conclude, in conjunction with the other spectroscopic data available and with the results of density functional calculations on related models, that this species corresponds to a high-spin side-on peroxo−Fe3+ complex. This is one of the first examples of such a species in a biological system for which Mössbauer parameters are now available: δ/Fe = 0.54 (1) mm/s, ΔEQ = −0.80 (5) mm/s, and the asymmetry parameter η = 0.60 (5) mm/s. The Mössbauer and spin Hamiltonian parameters have been evaluated on a model from the side-on peroxo complex (model 2) issued from the oxidized iron center in SOR from Pyrococcus furiosus, for which structural data are available in the literature [Yeh et al. (2000) Biochemistry 39, 2499−2508]. For comparison, similar calculations have been carried out on a model derived from 2 (model 3), where the [CH3−S]1- group has been replaced by the neutral [NH3]0 group [Neese and Solomon (1998) J. Am. Chem. Soc. 120, 12829−12848]. Both models 2 and 3 contain a formally high-spin Fe3+ ion (i.e., with empty minority spin orbitals). We found, however, a significant fraction (∼0.6 for 2, ∼0.8 for 3) of spin (equivalently charge) spread over two occupied (minority spin) orbitals. The quadrupole splitting value for 2 is found to be negative and matches quite well the experimental value. The computed quadrupole tensors are rhombic in the case of 2 and axial in the case of 3. This difference originates directly from the presence of the thiolate ligand in 2. A correlation between experimental isomer shifts for Fe3+ mononuclear complexes with computed electron densities at the iron nucleus has been built and used to evaluate the isomer shift values for 2 and 3 (0.56 and 0.63 mm/s, respectively). A significant increase of isomer shift value is found upon going from a methylthiolate to a nitrogen ligand for the Fe3+ ion, consistent with covalency effects due to the presence of the axial thiolate ligand. Considering that the isomer shift value for 3 is likely to be in the 0.61−0.65 mm/s range [Horner et al. (2002) Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., 3278−3283], the isomer shift value for a high-spin η2-O2 Fe3+ complex with an axial thiolate group can be estimated to be in the 0.54−0.58 mm/s range. The occurrence of a side-on peroxo intermediate in SOR is discussed in relation to the recent data published for a side-on peroxo−Fe3+ species in another biological system [Karlsson et al. (2003) Science 299, 1039−1042].