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Pinpoint Chemical Modification of Asp160 in the 49 kDa Subunit of Bovine Mitochondrial Complex I via a Combination of Ligand-Directed Tosyl Chemistry and Click Chemistry

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posted on 16.12.2014, 00:00 by Takahiro Masuya, Masatoshi Murai, Hironobu Morisaka, Hideto Miyoshi
Through a ligand-directed tosyl (LDT) chemistry strategy using the synthetic acetogenin ligand AL1, we succeeded in the pinpoint alkynylation (−CCH) of Asp160 in the 49 kDa subunit of bovine complex I, which may be located in the inner part of the putative quinone binding cavity of the enzyme [Masuya, T., et al. (2014) Biochemistry, 53, 2307–2317]. This study provided a promising technique for diverse chemical modifications of complex I. To further improve this technique for its adaptation to intact complex I, we here synthesized the new acetogenin ligand AL2, possessing an azido (−N3) group in place of the terminal alkyne in AL1, and attempted the pinpoint azidation of complex I in bovine heart submitochondrial particles. Careful proteomic analyses revealed that, just as in the case of AL1, azidation occurred at 49 kDa Asp160 with a reaction yield of ∼50%, verifying the high site specificity of our LDT chemistry using acetogenin ligands. This finding prompted us to speculate that a reactivity of the azido group incorporated into Asp160 (Asp160-N3) against externally added chemicals can be employed to characterize the structural features of the quinone/inhibitor binding cavity. Consequently, we used a ring-strained cycloalkyne possessing a rhodamine fluorophore (TAMRA-DIBO), which can covalently attach to an azido group via so-called click chemistry without Cu1+ catalysis, as the reaction partner of Asp160-N3. We found that bulky TAMRA-DIBO is capable of reacting directly with Asp160-N3 in intact complex I. Unexpectedly, the presence of an excess amount of short-chain ubiquinones as well as some strong inhibitors (e.g., quinazoline and fenpyroximate) did not interfere with the reaction between TAMRA-DIBO and Asp160-N3; nevertheless, bullatacin, a member of the natural acetogenins, markedly interfered with this reaction. Taking the marked bulkiness of TAMRA-DIBO into consideration, it appears to be difficult to reconcile these results with the proposal that only a narrow entry point accessing to the quinone/inhibitor binding cavity exists in complex I [Baradaran, R., et al. (2013) Nature, 494, 443–448]; rather, they suggest that there may be another access path for TAMRA-DIBO to the cavity.

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