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Characterization of the Zinc Sites in Cobalamin-Independent and Cobalamin-Dependent Methionine Synthase Using Zinc and Selenium X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy

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journal contribution
posted on 30.12.2000, 00:00 authored by Katrina Peariso, Zhaohui S. Zhou, April E. Smith, Rowena G. Matthews, James E. Penner-Hahn
X-ray absorption spectroscopy has been used to investigate binding of selenohomocysteine to cobalamin-independent (MetE) and cobalamin-dependent (MetH) methionine synthase enzymes of Escherichia coli. We have shown previously [Peariso et al. (1998) J. Am. Chem. Soc. 120, 8410−8416] that the Zn sites in both enzymes show an increase in the number of sulfur ligands when homocysteine binds. The present data provide direct evidence that this change is due to coordination of the substrate to the Zn. Addition of l-selenohomocysteine to either MetE or the N-terminal fragment of MetH, MetH(2−649), causes changes in the zinc X-ray absorption near-edge structure that are remarkably similar to those observed following the addition of l-homocysteine. Zinc EXAFS spectra show that the addition of l-selenohomocysteine changes the coordination environment of the zinc in MetE from 2S + 2(N/O) to 2S + 1(N/O) + 1Se and in MetH(2−649) from 3S + 1(N/O) to 3S + 1Se. The Zn−S, Zn−Se, and Se−S bond distances determined from the zinc and selenium EXAFS data indicate that the zinc sites in substrate-bound MetE and MetH(2−649) both have an approximately tetrahedral geometry. The selenium edge energy for selenohomocysteine shifts to higher energy when binding to either methionine synthase enzyme, suggesting that there is a slight decrease in the effective charge of the selenium. Increases in the Zn−Cys bond distances upon selenohomocysteine binding together with identical magnitudes of the shifts to higher energy in the Se XANES spectra of MetE and MetH(2−649) suggest that the Lewis acidity of the Zn sites in these enzymes appears the same to the substrate and is electronically buffered by the Zn−Cys interaction.