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The Ferric-Superoxo Intermediate of the TxtE Nitration Pathway Resists Reduction, Facilitating Its Reaction with Nitric Oxide

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journal contribution
posted on 28.07.2021, 16:07 authored by Christopher P. Martin, Manyun Chen, Maria F. Martinez, Yousong Ding, Jonathan D. Caranto
TxtE is a cytochrome P450 (CYP) homologue that mediates the nitric oxide (NO)-dependent direct nitration of l-tryptophan (Trp) to form 4-nitro-l-tryptophan (4-NO2-Trp). A recent report showed evidence that TxtE activity requires NO to react with a ferric-superoxo intermediate. Given this minimal mechanism, it is not clear how TxtE avoids Trp hydroxylation, a mechanism that also traverses the ferric-superoxo intermediate. To provide insight into canonical CYP intermediates that TxtE can access, electron coupling efficiencies to form 4-NO2-Trp under single- or limited-turnover conditions were measured and compared to steady-state efficiencies. As previously reported, Trp nitration by TxtE is supported by the engineered self-sufficient variant, TB14, as well as by reduced putidaredoxin. Ferrous (FeII) TxtE exhibits excellent electron coupling (70%), which is 50-fold higher than that observed under turnover conditions. In addition, two- or four-electron reduced TB14 exhibits electron coupling (∼6%) that is 2-fold higher than that of one-electron reduced TB14 (3%). The combined results suggest (1) autoxidation is the sole TxtE uncoupling pathway and (2) the TxtE ferric-superoxo intermediate cannot be reduced by these electron transfer partners. The latter conclusion is further supported by ultraviolet–visible absorption spectral time courses showing neither spectral nor kinetic evidence for reduction of the ferric-superoxo intermediate. We conclude that resistance of the ferric-superoxo intermediate to reduction is a key feature of TxtE that increases the lifetime of the intermediate and enables its reaction with NO and efficient nitration activity.