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1.  Structure and Haem-Distal Site Plasticity in Methanosarcina acetivorans Protoglobin 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66144.
Protoglobin from Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A (MaPgb), a strictly anaerobic methanogenic Archaea, is a dimeric haem-protein whose biological role is still unknown. As other globins, protoglobin can bind O2, CO and NO reversibly in vitro, but it displays specific functional and structural properties within members of the hemoglobin superfamily. CO binding to and dissociation from the haem occurs through biphasic kinetics, which arise from binding to (and dissociation from) two distinct tertiary states in a ligation-dependent equilibrium. From the structural viewpoint, protoglobin-specific loops and a N-terminal extension of 20 residues completely bury the haem within the protein matrix. Thus, access of small ligand molecules to the haem is granted by two apolar tunnels, not common to other globins, which reach the haem distal site from locations at the B/G and B/E helix interfaces. Here, the roles played by residues Trp(60)B9, Tyr(61)B10 and Phe(93)E11 in ligand recognition and stabilization are analyzed, through crystallographic investigations on the ferric protein and on selected mutants. Specifically, protein structures are reported for protoglobin complexes with cyanide, with azide (also in the presence of Xenon), and with more bulky ligands, such as imidazole and nicotinamide. Values of the rate constant for cyanide dissociation from ferric MaPgb-cyanide complexes have been correlated to hydrogen bonds provided by Trp(60)B9 and Tyr(61)B10 that stabilize the haem-Fe(III)-bound cyanide. We show that protoglobin can strikingly reshape, in a ligand-dependent way, the haem distal site, where Phe(93)E11 acts as ligand sensor and controls accessibility to the haem through the tunnel system by modifying the conformation of Trp(60)B9.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066144
PMCID: PMC3680402  PMID: 23776624
2.  Nitrite-Reductase and Peroxynitrite Isomerization Activities of Methanosarcina acetivorans Protoglobin 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e95391.
Within the globin superfamily, protoglobins (Pgb) belong phylogenetically to the same cluster of two-domain globin-coupled sensors and single-domain sensor globins. Multiple functional roles have been postulated for Methanosarcina acetivorans Pgb (Ma-Pgb), since the detoxification of reactive nitrogen and oxygen species might co-exist with enzymatic activity(ies) to facilitate the conversion of CO to methane. Here, the nitrite-reductase and peroxynitrite isomerization activities of the CysE20Ser mutant of Ma-Pgb (Ma-Pgb*) are reported and analyzed in parallel with those of related heme-proteins. Kinetics of nitrite-reductase activity of ferrous Ma-Pgb* (Ma-Pgb*-Fe(II)) is biphasic and values of the second-order rate constant for the reduction of NO2– to NO and the concomitant formation of nitrosylated Ma-Pgb*-Fe(II) (Ma-Pgb*-Fe(II)-NO) are kapp1 = 9.6±0.2 M–1 s–1 and kapp2 = 1.2±0.1 M–1 s–1 (at pH 7.4 and 20°C). The kapp1 and kapp2 values increase by about one order of magnitude for each pH unit decrease, between pH 8.3 and 6.2, indicating that the reaction requires one proton. On the other hand, kinetics of peroxynitrite isomerization catalyzed by ferric Ma-Pgb* (Ma-Pgb*-Fe(III)) is monophasic and values of the second order rate constant for peroxynitrite isomerization by Ma-Pgb*-Fe(III) and of the first order rate constant for the spontaneous conversion of peroxynitrite to nitrate are happ = 3.8×104 M–1 s–1 and h0 = 2.8×10–1 s–1 (at pH 7.4 and 20°C). The pH-dependence of hon and h0 values reflects the acid-base equilibrium of peroxynitrite (pKa = 6.7 and 6.9, respectively; at 20°C), indicating that HOONO is the species that reacts preferentially with the heme-Fe(III) atom. These results highlight the potential role of Pgbs in the biosynthesis and scavenging of reactive nitrogen and oxygen species.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095391
PMCID: PMC4020757  PMID: 24827820
3.  Free-energy Landscapes of Ion-channel Gating Are Malleable: changes in the number of bound ligands are accompanied by changes in the location of the transition state in acetylcholine-receptor channels† 
Biochemistry  2003;42(50):14977-14987.
Acetylcholine-receptor channels (AChRs) are allosteric membrane proteins that mediate synaptic transmission by alternatively opening and closing (‘gating’) a cation-selective transmembrane pore. Although ligand binding is not required for the channel to open, the binding of agonists (for example, acetylcholine) increases the closed ⇌ open equilibrium constant because the ion-impermeable → ion-permeable transition of the ion pathway is accompanied by a low → high affinity change at the agonist-binding sites. The fact that the gating conformational change of muscle AChRs can be kinetically modeled as a two-state reaction has paved the way to the experimental characterization of the corresponding transition state, which represents a snapshot of the continuous sequence of molecular events separating the closed and open states. Previous studies of fully (di-) liganded AChRs, combining single-channel kinetic measurements, site-directed mutagenesis, and data analysis in the framework of the linear free-energy relationships of physical organic chemistry, have suggested a transition-state structure that is consistent with channel opening being an asynchronous conformational change that starts at the extracellular agonist-binding sites and propagates towards the intracellular end of the pore. In this paper, I characterize the gating transition state of unliganded AChRs, and report a remarkable difference: unlike that of diliganded gating, the unliganded transition state is not a hybrid of the closed- and open-state structures but, rather, is almost indistinguishable from the open state itself. This displacement of the transition state along the reaction coordinate obscures the mechanism underlying the unliganded closed ⇌ open reaction but brings to light the malleable nature of free-energy landscapes of ion-channel gating.
The muscle acetylcholine receptor channel (AChR)1 is the neurotransmitter-gated ion channel that mediates neuromuscular synaptic transmission in vertebrates (1). Although the structure of this large pentameric transmembrane protein (∼470 residues per subunit) is not known with atomic resolution, a wealth of structural information exists, mainly from mutational studies, affinity labeling, chemical modification of specific residues, electron microscopy, and crystallography (reviewed in ref. 2). As is the case of any other allosteric protein, the dynamic behavior of this receptor-channel can be understood in the framework of thermodynamic cycles, with conformational changes and ligand-binding events as the elementary steps (3-5). Thus, the AChR can adopt a variety of different conformations that can interconvert (closed, open, and desensitized ‘states’), and each conformation has a distinct ligand-binding affinity (low affinity in the closed state and high affinity in the open and desensitized states) and a particular ‘catalytic efficiency’ (ion-impermeable in the closed and desensitized states, and ion-permeable in the open state). To meet the physiological requirement of a small closed ⇌ open (‘gating’) equilibrium constant for the unliganded receptor, and a large gating equilibrium constant for the ACh-diliganded receptor, the affinity of the AChR for ACh must be higher in the open than in the closed conformation (4-6). This follows from the notion that the equilibrium constants governing the different reaction steps (ligand binding and gating) of these cyclic reaction schemes are constrained by the principle of detailed balance.
Hence, irrespective of whether the receptor is diliganded, monoliganded or unliganded, two changes must take place in going from the closed state (low ligand affinity and ion-impermeable) to the open state (high ligand affinity and ion-permeable): a) the pore becomes permeable to ions, and b) the transmitter-binding sites, some 50 Å away from the pore domain (7), increase their affinity for the ligand (with the reverse changes taking place during closing). The apparent lack of stable intermediates between the closed and open conformations, inferred from kinetic modeling of the diliganded-gating reaction (8), suggests that these two changes occur as a result of a one-step, global conformational change. The question, then, arises as to whether this concerted conformational change proceeds synchronously (i.e., every residue of the protein moves ‘in unison’) or asynchronously (i.e., following a sequence of events; ref. 9) and, if the latter were the case, whether multiple, few, or just one sequence of events is actually traversed by the channel to ‘connect’ the end states.
Analysis of the correlation between rate and equilibrium constants of gating in diliganded AChRs has allowed us to address some of these issues by probing the structure of the transition state (8, 10-12), that is, the intermediate species between the end states of a one-step reaction that can be most easily studied. Interpretation of these results in the framework of the classical rate-equilibrium free-energy relationships of physical organic chemistry (13, 14), revealed that AChR diliganded gating is a highly asynchronous reaction, and suggested that the transition-state ensemble is quite homogeneous, as if the crossing of the energy barrier were confined to a narrow pass at the top of the energy landscape. In the opening direction, the conformational rearrangement that leads to the low-to-high affinity change at the extracellular binding sites precedes the conformational rearrangement of the pore that renders the channel ion-permeable. This propagated global conformational change, which we have referred to as a ‘conformational wave’ (11), must reverse during channel closing so that closing starts at the pore and propagates all the way to the binding sites.
It is not at all obvious why the diliganded-gating conformational change starts at the binding sites when the channel opens, nor even why the conformational change propagates at all through the receptor, instead of taking place synchronously throughout the protein. Is there any correlation between the location of the domain that binds agonist and the location of the initiation site for the opening conformational change? Could the latter have started from the intracellular end of the pore, for example, and have propagated to the (extracellular) transmitter-binding sites? What difference does it make to be liganded or unliganded as far as the mechanism of the gating conformational change is concerned? To address these issues, I set out to explore the mechanism of gating in unliganded AChRs by probing the structure of the corresponding transition state using kinetic measurements, site-directed mutagenesis, and the concepts of rate-equilibrium free-energy relationships and Φ-value analysis.
Briefly, a Φ-value can be assigned to any position in the protein by estimating the slope of a ‘Brönsted plot’2 [log (gating rate constant) versus log (gating equilibrium constant)] where each point corresponds to a different amino-acid substitution at that given position. More coarsegrained Φ-values can also be obtained by using different agonists or different transmembrane potentials, for example, as a means of altering the rate and equilibrium constants of gating. Very often, rate-equilibrium plots are linear, and 0 < Φ < 1. A value of Φ = 0 suggests that the position in question (in the case of a mutation series) experiences a closed-state-like environment at the transition state whereas a value of Φ = 1 suggests an open-state-like environment. A fractional Φ-value suggests an environment that is intermediate between those experienced in the closed and open states (16).
Earlier results indicated that the Φ-values obtained by varying the transmembrane potential are different in diliganded and unliganded AChRs. These Φ-values, which are a measure of the closed-state-like versus open-state-like character of the channel’s voltage-sensing elements at the transition state, are 0.070 ± 0.060 in diliganded receptors (17), and 1.025 ± 0.053 in unliganded AChRs (11, 18). The present study reveals that residues at the transmitter-binding sites (Figure 1), the extracellular loop that links the second (M2) and third (M3) transmembrane segments (M2-M3 linker), and the upper and lower half of M2, which during diliganded gating have Φ-values of ∼1 (ref. 11), ∼0.7 (ref. 10), ∼0.35 (refs 8, 11, 12), and ∼0 (ref. 12), respectively, have also Φ-values very close to 1 during unliganded gating. This generalized shift in Φ-values suggests that the diliganded → unliganded perturbation deforms the energy landscape of gating in such a way that the ‘new’ transition state occurs very close to the open state, to such an extent that all tested positions experience an open-state-like environment at the transition state of unliganded gating. Thus, the transition state occurs so ‘late’ (i.e., so close to the open state) that its inferred structure does not provide any clues as to the intermediate stages of this reaction.
Hence, the mechanism of unliganded gating remains obscure. The change in the position of the transition state along a reaction coordinate, as a result of perturbations to the energy landscape, is a very well known phenomenon in organic chemistry (e.g., refs 20-26), and protein folding (e.g., refs 27-34). In this paper, I show that this phenomenon can also take place in the case of allosteric transitions and, therefore, that the structure of the transition state of a global conformational change need not be fixed; rather, it can change depending on the experimental conditions.
doi:10.1021/bi0354334
PMCID: PMC1463891  PMID: 14674774
4.  Role of the cysteine protease interpain A of Prevotella intermedia in breakdown and release of haem from haemoglobin 
The Biochemical journal  2009;425(1):257-264.
SUMMARY
The Gram-negative oral anaerobe Prevotella intermedia forms an iron(III) protoporphyrin IX pigment from haemoglobin. The microorganism expresses a 90 kDa cysteine protease, Interpain A (InpA), a homologue of Streptococcus pyogenes streptopain (SpeB). The role of InpA in haemoglobin breakdown and haem release was investigated. At pH 7.5, InpA mediated oxidation of oxyhaemoglobin to hydroxymethaemoglobin (in which the haem iron is oxidised to the Fe(III) state and which carries OH− as the sixth co-ordinate ligand) by limited proteolysis of globin chains as indicated by SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF analysis. Prolonged incubation at pH 7.5, did not result in further haemoglobin protein breakdown, but in the formation of a haemoglobin haemichrome (where the haem Fe atom is co-ordinated by another amino acid ligand in addition to the proximal histidine) stable to degradation by InpA. InpA-mediated haem release from hydroxymethaemoglobin-agarose was minimal compared with trypsin at pH 7.5. At pH 6.0, InpA increased oxidation at a rate greater than auto-oxidation, producing aquomethaemoglobin (with H2O as sixth co-ordinate ligand), and resulted in its complete breakdown and haem loss. Aquo-methaemoglobin proteolysis and haem release was prevented by blocking haem dissociation by ligation with azide, whilst InpA proteolysis of haem-free globin was rapid even at pH 7.5. Both oxidation of oxyhaemoglobin and breakdown of methaemoglobin by InpA were inhibited by the cysteine-protease inhibitor E64. In summary we conclude that InpA may play a central role in haem acquisition by mediating oxyhaemoglobin oxidation, and by degrading aquomethaemoglobin in which haem-globin affinity is weakened under acidic conditions.
doi:10.1042/BJ20090343
PMCID: PMC2882103  PMID: 19814715
Prevotella intermedia; interpain A; protease; haemoglobin; methaemoglobin; haem
5.  Apo and ligand-bound structures of ModA from the archaeon Methanosarcina acetivorans  
Crystal structures of ModA from M. acetivorans in the apo and ligand-bound conformations confirm domain rotation upon ligand binding.
The trace-element oxyanion molybdate, which is required for the growth of many bacterial and archaeal species, is transported into the cell by an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter superfamily uptake system called ModABC. ModABC consists of the ModA periplasmic solute-binding protein, the integral membrane-transport protein ModB and the ATP-binding and hydrolysis cassette protein ModC. In this study, X-ray crystal structures of ModA from the archaeon Methanosarcina acetivorans (MaModA) have been determined in the apo­protein conformation at 1.95 and 1.69 Å resolution and in the molybdate-bound conformation at 2.25 and 2.45 Å resolution. The overall domain structure of MaModA is similar to other ModA proteins in that it has a bilobal structure in which two mixed α/β domains are linked by a hinge region. The apo MaModA is the first unliganded archaeal ModA structure to be determined: it exhibits a deep cleft between the two domains and confirms that upon binding ligand one domain is rotated towards the other by a hinge-bending motion, which is consistent with the ‘Venus flytrap’ model seen for bacterial-type periplasmic binding proteins. In contrast to the bacterial ModA structures, which have tetrahedral coordination of their metal substrates, molybdate-bound MaModA employs octahedral coordination of its substrate like other archaeal ModA proteins.
doi:10.1107/S1744309109055158
PMCID: PMC2833028  PMID: 20208152
ModA; molybdate; Methanosarcina acetivorans; periplasmic binding proteins
6.  Electron Transport in the Pathway of Acetate Conversion to Methane in the Marine Archaeon Methanosarcina acetivorans†  
Journal of Bacteriology  2006;188(2):702-710.
A liquid chromatography-hybrid linear ion trap-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry approach was used to determine the differential abundance of proteins in acetate-grown cells compared to that of proteins in methanol-grown cells of the marine isolate Methanosarcina acetivorans metabolically labeled with 14N versus 15N. The 246 differentially abundant proteins in M. acetivorans were compared with the previously reported 240 differentially expressed genes of the freshwater isolate Methanosarcina mazei determined by transcriptional profiling of acetate-grown cells compared to methanol-grown cells. Profound differences were revealed for proteins involved in electron transport and energy conservation. Compared to methanol-grown cells, acetate-grown M. acetivorans synthesized greater amounts of subunits encoded in an eight-gene transcriptional unit homologous to operons encoding the ion-translocating Rnf electron transport complex previously characterized from the Bacteria domain. Combined with sequence and physiological analyses, these results suggest that M. acetivorans replaces the H2-evolving Ech hydrogenase complex of freshwater Methanosarcina species with the Rnf complex, which generates a transmembrane ion gradient for ATP synthesis. Compared to methanol-grown cells, acetate-grown M. acetivorans synthesized a greater abundance of proteins encoded in a seven-gene transcriptional unit annotated for the Mrp complex previously reported to function as a sodium/proton antiporter in the Bacteria domain. The differences reported here between M. acetivorans and M. mazei can be attributed to an adaptation of M. acetivorans to the marine environment.
doi:10.1128/JB.188.2.702-710.2006
PMCID: PMC1347274  PMID: 16385060
7.  Functional Analysis of the Three TATA Binding Protein Homologs in Methanosarcina acetivorans▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2010;192(6):1511-1517.
The roles of three TATA binding protein (TBP) homologs (TBP1, TBP2, and TBP3) in the archaeon Methanosarcina acetivorans were investigated by using genetic and molecular approaches. Although tbp2 and tbp3 deletion mutants were readily obtained, a tbp1 mutant was not obtained, and the growth of a conditional tbp1 expression strain was tetracycline dependent, indicating that TBP1 is essential. Transcripts of tbp1 were 20-fold more abundant than transcripts of tbp2 and 100- to 200-fold more abundant than transcripts of tbp3, suggesting that TBP1 is the primary TBP utilized during growth. Accordingly, tbp1 is strictly conserved in the genomes of Methanosarcina species. Δtbp3 and Δtbp2 strains exhibited an extended lag phase compared with the wild type, although the lag phase for the Δtbp2 strain was less pronounced when this strain was transitioning from growth on methylotrophic substrates to growth on acetate. Acetate-adapted Δtbp3 cells exhibited growth rates, final growth yields, and lag times that were significantly reduced compared with those of the wild type when the organisms were cultured with growth-limiting concentrations of acetate, and the acetate-adapted Δtbp2 strain exhibited a final growth yield that was reduced compared with that of the wild type when the organisms were cultured with growth-limiting acetate concentrations. DNA microarray analyses identified 92 and 77 genes with altered transcription in the Δtbp2 and Δtbp3 strains, respectively, which is consistent with a role for TBP2 and TBP3 in optimizing gene expression. Together, the results suggest that TBP2 and TBP3 are required for efficient growth under conditions similar to the conditions in the native environment of M. acetivorans.
doi:10.1128/JB.01165-09
PMCID: PMC2832540  PMID: 20081030
8.  Generation of Dominant Selectable Markers for Resistance to Pseudomonic Acid by Cloning and Mutagenesis of the ileS Gene from the Archaeon Methanosarcina barkeri Fusaro 
Journal of Bacteriology  2000;182(9):2611-2618.
Currently, only one selectable marker is available for genetic studies in the archaeal genus Methanosarcina. Here we report the generation of selectable markers that encode resistance to pseudomonic acid (PAr) in Methanosarcina species by mutagenesis of the isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase gene (ileS) from Methanosarcina barkeri Fusaro. The M. barkeri ileS gene was obtained by screening of a genomic library for hybridization to a PCR fragment. The complete 3,787-bp DNA sequence surrounding and including the ileS gene was determined. As expected, M. barkeri IleS is phylogenetically related to other archaeal IleS proteins. The ileS gene was cloned into a Methanosarcina-Escherichia coli shuttle vector and mutagenized with hydroxylamine. Nine independent PAr clones were isolated after transformation of Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A with the mutagenized plasmids. Seven of these clones carry multiple changes from the wild-type sequence. Most mutations that confer PAr were shown to alter amino acid residues near the KMSKS consensus sequence of class I aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. One particular mutation (G594E) was present in all but one of the PAr clones. The MIC of pseudomonic acid for M. acetivorans transformed with a plasmid carrying this single mutation is 70 μg/ml of medium (for the wild type, the MIC is 12 μg/ml). The highest MICs (560 μg/ml) were observed with two triple mutants, A440V/A482T/G594E and A440V/G593D/G594E. Plasmid shuttle vectors and insertion cassettes that encode PAr based on the mutant ileS alleles are described. Finally, the implications of the specific mutations we isolated with respect to binding of pseudomonic acid by IleS are discussed.
PMCID: PMC111328  PMID: 10762266
9.  Disaggregation of Methanosarcina spp. and Growth as Single Cells at Elevated Osmolarity 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  1993;59(11):3832-3839.
The effect of medium osmolarity on the morphology and growth of Methanosarcina barkeri, Methanosarcina thermophila, Methanosarcina mazei, Methanosarcina vacuolata, and Methanosarcina acetivorans was examined. Each strain was adapted for growth in NaCl concentrations ranging from 0.05 to 1.0 M. Methanosarcina spp. isolated from both marine and nonmarine sources exhibited similar growth characteristics at all NaCl concentrations tested, demonstrating that these species are capable of adapting to a similar range of medium osmolarities. Concomitant with the adaptation in 0.4 to 1.0 M NaCl, all strains disaggregated and grew as single cells rather than in the characteristic multicellular aggregates. Aggregated cells had a methanochondroitin outer layer, while disaggregated single cells lacked the outer layer but retained the protein S-layer adjacent to the cell membrane. Synthesis of glucuronic acid, a major component of methanochondroitin, was reduced 20-fold in the single-cell form of M. barkeri when compared with synthesis in aggregated cells. Strains with the methanochondroitin outer cell layer exhibited enhanced stability at low (<0.2 M NaCl) osmolarity and grew at higher temperatures. Disaggregated cells could be converted back to aggregated cells by gradually readapting cultures to lower NaCl (<0.2 M) and Mg2+ (<0.005 M) concentrations. Disaggregated Methanosarcina spp. could also be colonized and replica plated with greater than 95% recovery rates on solidified agar basal medium that contained 0.4 to 0.6 M NaCl and either trimethylamine, methanol, or acetate as the substrate. The ability to disaggregate and grow Methanosarcina spp. as viable, detergent-sensitive, single cells on agar medium makes these species amenable to mutant selection and screening for genetic studies and enables cells to be gently lysed for the isolation of intact genetic material.
Images
PMCID: PMC182538  PMID: 16349092
10.  Differences in Hydrogenase Gene Expression between Methanosarcina acetivorans and Methanosarcina barkeri▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2009;191(8):2826-2833.
Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A encodes three putative hydrogenases, including one cofactor F420-linked (frh) and two methanophenazine-linked (vht) enzymes. Comparison of the amino acid sequences of these putative hydrogenases to those of Methanosarcina barkeri and Methanosarcina mazei shows that each predicted subunit contains all the known residues essential for hydrogenase function. The DNA sequences upstream of the genes in M. acetivorans were aligned with those in other Methanosarcina species to identify conserved transcription and translation signals. The M. acetivorans vht promoter region is well conserved among the sequenced Methanosarcina species, while the second vht-type homolog (here called vhx) and frh promoters have only limited similarity. To experimentally determine whether these promoters are functional in vivo, we constructed and characterized both M. acetivorans and M. barkeri strains carrying reporter gene fusions to each of the M. acetivorans and M. barkeri hydrogenase promoters. Generally, the M. acetivorans gene fusions are not expressed in either organism, suggesting that cis-acting mutations inactivated the M. acetivorans promoters. The M. barkeri hydrogenase gene fusions, on the other hand, are expressed in both organisms, indicating that M. acetivorans possesses the machinery to express hydrogenases, although it does not express its own hydrogenases. These data are consistent with specific inactivation of the M. acetivorans hydrogenase promoters and highlight the importance of testing hypotheses generated by using genomic data.
doi:10.1128/JB.00563-08
PMCID: PMC2668380  PMID: 19201801
11.  CO and O2 Binding to Pseudo-Tetradentate Ligand-Copper(I)-Complexes with a Variable N-Donor Moiety: Kinetic/Thermodynamic Investigation Reveals Ligand Induced Changes in Reaction Mechanism 
Journal of the American Chemical Society  2010;132(37):12927-12940.
The kinetics, thermodynamics, and coordination dynamics for O2 and CO 1:1 binding to a series of pseudo-tetradentate ligand-copper(I)-complexes (DLCuI) to give CuI/O2 and CuI/CO product species are reported. The DLCuI series possess an identical tridentate core structure where the cuprous ion binds to the bispicolylamine (L) fragment. DL also contains a fourth variable N-donor moiety {D = benzyl (Bz); pyridyl (Py); imidazolyl (Im); dimethylamino (NMe2-); tert-butylphenyl pyridyl (TBP); quinolyl (Q)}. The structural characteristics of DLCuI-CO and DLCuI are detailed, with X-ray crystal structures reported for TBPLCuI-CO, BzLCuI-CO, and QLCuI. Infrared studies (solution and solid-state) confirm that DLCuI-CO possess the same four-coordinate core structure in solution with the variable D moiety ‘dangling’, i.e. not coordinated to the copper(I) ion. Other trends observed for the present series appear to derive from the degree to which the D-group interacts with the cuprous ion center. Electrochemical studies reveal close similarities of behavior for ImLCuI and NMe2LCuI (as well as for TBPLCuI and QLCuI), which relate to the O2-binding kinetics and thermodynamics. Equilibrium CO binding data (KCO, ΔH°, ΔS°) were obtained by conducting UV-visible spectrophotometric CO titrations, while CO binding kinetics and thermodynamics (kCO ; ΔH‡, ΔS‡) were measured through variable temperature (193 K – 293 K) transient absorbance laser flash photolysis experiments, λex = 355 nm. Carbon monoxide dissociation rate constants (k−CO) and corresponding activation parameters (ΔH‡, ΔS‡) have also been obtained. CO binding to DLCuI follows an associative mechanism with the increased donation from D leading to higher kCO values. Unlike that seen in previous work, the KCO values increased as the kCO and k−CO values declines; the latter decreased at a faster rate. By using the ‘flash-and-trap’ method (λex = 355 nm ; 188 K – 218 K), the kinetics and thermodynamics (kO2 ; ΔH‡, ΔS‡) for O2 binding to NMe2LCuI and ImLCuI were measured and compared to PyLCuI. A surprising change in the O2 binding mechanism was deduced from the thermodynamic ΔS‡ values observed, associative for PyLCuI but dissociative for NMe2LCuI and ImLCuI; these results are interpreted as arising from a difference in the timing of electron transfer from copper(I) to O2 as this molecule coordinates and a tetrahydrofuran (THF) solvent molecule dissociates. The change in mechanism was not simply related to alterations in DLCuII/I geometries or the order that O2/THF coordinate. The equilibrium O2 binding constant (KO2 ; ΔH°, ΔS°) and O2 dissociation rate constants (k−O2 ; ΔH‡, ΔS‡) were also determined. Overall the results demonstrate that subtle changes in the coordination environment, as occurs over time through evolution in nature or through controlled ligand design in synthetic systems, dictate to a critically detailed level the observed chemistry in terms of reaction kinetics, structure and reactivity, and thus function. Results reported here are also compared to relevant copper and/or iron biological systems and analogous synthetic ligand-copper systems.
doi:10.1021/ja104107q
PMCID: PMC2952189  PMID: 20726586
12.  Mechanism and Specificity of DNA Strand Exchange Catalyzed by Vaccinia DNA Topoisomerase Type I† 
Biochemistry  2010;49(13):2786-2795.
The type I DNA topoisomerase from vaccinia virus (vTopo) forms a reversible covalent 3′-phosphotyrosyl linkage with a single strand of duplex DNA at the preferred sequence 5′-(C/T)CCTTp↓N−1N−2N−3-3′. The enzyme-DNA covalent adduct is recombinogenic in cells, because the nicked strand downstream of the cleavage site can dissociate and be replaced by another DNA strand, potentially resulting in genome rearrangements if the enzyme executes strand ligation. Topo I could play an active role in strand exchange, either by altering the kinetics or thermodynamics of DNA strand binding, or by serving as a proofreading gate to prevent ligation of incoming DNA strands containing mismatches. To address these questions, we have measured the kinetic and thermodynamic parameters for strand annealing to a purified vaccinia Topo I-DNA (vTopo-DNA) covalent complex containing a single-strand overhang, and then compared them with the same overhang duplex in the absence of vTopo. We found that vTopo accelerates the strand association rate by two-fold, but has no effect on the rate of strand dissociation. vTopo has a similar small effect on the annealing parameters of a series of DNA strands containing single mismatches. In contrast, single base mismatches at the -1, -2 or -3 positions decreased the forward rate and equilibrium constant for reversible strand ligation by 10-fold. These data establish that while vTopo is a bystander during the annealing step of strand exchange, the enzyme strongly discriminates against mismatches close to the cleavage site during the subsequent events leading to strand ligation. A mechanism emerges where vTopo oscillates between an open state where the downstream DNA segment does not interact with the enzyme, and a closed state where catalytically important contacts are formed with this region. This oscillation between an open and closed state of the covalently bound enzyme is likely important for regulating the number of DNA superhelical turns that are removed during the lifetime of the covalent complex with supercoiled substrates.
doi:10.1021/bi902204v
PMCID: PMC2847668  PMID: 20187656
13.  Mechanism of methaemoglobin breakdown by the lysine-specific gingipain of the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis 
Biological chemistry  2008;389(9):1235-1238.
The R- and K-gingipain proteases of Porphyromonas gingivalis are involved in proteolysis of haemoglobin from which the defensive dimeric haem pigment is formed. Whilst oxyhaemoglobin is refractory towards K-gingipain, methaemoglobin is rapidly degraded. Ligation of methaemoglobin with N3−, which effectively blocks haem dissociation from the protein, prevented haemoglobin breakdown. Haem-free globin was rapidly degraded by K-gingipain. These data emphasise the need for haemoglobin oxidation which encourages haem dissociation and makes the haem-free globin susceptible to proteolytic attack.
doi:10.1515/BC.2008.XXX
PMCID: PMC2565508  PMID: 18713010
gingipains; haem; haemoglobin; periodontal disease; Porphyromonas; protease
14.  Assessment of the oxidant tolerance of Methanosarcina acetivorans 
FEMS microbiology letters  2013;343(1):13-19.
All methane-producing Archaea (methanogens) are strict anaerobes, but the majority of species are tolerant to oxidants. Methanosarcina species are important environmental and industrial methanogens since they are one of only two genera capable of producing methane with acetate. Importantly, Methanosarcina species appear to be the most oxidant-tolerant; however, the mechanisms underlying this tolerance are poorly understood. We report herein two similar methods (spot-plating and microtiter plate) developed to examine the oxidant tolerance of Methanosarcina acetivorans by viability assessment. Both methods revealed that M. acetivorans can tolerate exposure to millimolar levels of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) without a complete loss of viability. The exogenous addition of catalase was also shown to protect M. acetivorans from H2O2 toxicity, indicating catalase can serve as an antioxidant enzyme in methanogens even though oxygen is a byproduct. Of the two methods, the microtiter plate method provided a simple, reliable, and inexpensive method to assess viability of M. acetivorans. Combined with recent advances in the genetic manipulation of methanogens, methods in assessment of methanogen oxidant tolerance will aid in the identification of components of the antioxidant defense systems.
doi:10.1111/1574-6968.12115
PMCID: PMC3651780  PMID: 23448147
15.  High Resolution Crystal Structures of the Cerebratulus lacteus Mini-Hb in the Unligated and Carbomonoxy States 
The nerve tissue mini-hemoglobin from Cerebratulus lacteus (CerHb) displays an essential globin fold hosting a protein matrix tunnel held to allow traffic of small ligands to and from the heme. CerHb heme pocket hosts the distal TyrB10/GlnE7 pair, normally linked to low rates of O2 dissociation and ultra-high O2 affinity. However, CerHb affinity for O2 is similar to that of mammalian myoglobins, due to a dynamic equilibrium between high and low affinity states driven by the ability of ThrE11 to orient the TyrB10 OH group relative to the heme ligand. We present here the high resolution crystal structures of CerHb in the unligated and carbomonoxy states. Although CO binds to the heme with an orientation different from the O2 ligand, the overall binding schemes for CO and O2 are essentially the same, both ligands being stabilized through a network of hydrogen bonds based on TyrB10, GlnE7, and ThrE11. No dramatic protein structural changes are needed to support binding of the ligands, which can freely reach the heme distal site through the apolar tunnel. A lack of main conformational changes between the heme-unligated and -ligated states grants stability to the folded mini-Hb and is a prerequisite for fast ligand diffusion to/from the heme.
doi:10.3390/ijms13078025
PMCID: PMC3430218  PMID: 22942687
nerve globin; crystal structure; heme reactivity; carbon monoxide; protein matrix tunnel
16.  Coexpression of Human α- and Circularly Permuted β-Globins Yields a Hemoglobin with Normal R State but Modified T State Properties† 
Biochemistry  2009;48(23):5456-5465.
For the first time, a circularly permuted human β-globin (cpβ) has been coexpressed with human α-globin in bacterial cells and shown to associate to form α-cpβ hemoglobin in solution. Flash photolysis studies of α-cpβ show markedly biphasic CO and O2 kinetics with the amplitudes for the fast association phases being dominant due the presence of large amounts of high-affinity liganded hemoglobin dimers. Extensive dimerization of liganded but not deoxygenated α-cpβ was observed by gel chromatography. The rate constants for O2 and CO binding to the R state forms of α-cpβ are almost identical to those of native HbA (k′R(CO) ≈ 5.0 μM−1 s−1; k′R(O2) ≈ 50 μM−1 s−1), and the rate of O2 dissociation from fully oxygenated α-cpβ is also very similar to that observed for HbA (kR(O2) ≈ 21–28 s−1). When the equilibrium deoxyHb form of α-cpβ is reacted with CO in rapid mixing experiments, the observed time courses are monophasic and the observed bimolecular association rate constant is ∼1.0 μM−1 s−1, which is intermediate between the R state rate measured in partial photolysis experiments (∼5 μM−1 s−1) and that observed for T state deoxyHbA (k′T(CO) ≈ 0.1 to 0.2 μM−1 s−1). Thus the deoxygenated permutated β subunits generate an intermediate, higher affinity, deoxyHb quaternary state. This conclusion is supported by equilibrium oxygen binding measurements in which α-cpβ exhibits a P50 of ∼1.5 mmHg and a low n-value (∼1.3) at pH 7, 20 °C, compared to 8.5 mmHg and n ≈ 2.8 for native HbA under identical, dilute conditions.
doi:10.1021/bi900216p
PMCID: PMC2725443  PMID: 19397368
17.  Structural and Functional Studies Suggest a Catalytic Mechanism for the Phosphotransacetylase from Methanosarcina thermophila 
Journal of Bacteriology  2006;188(3):1143-1154.
Phosphotransacetylase (EC 2.3.1.8) catalyzes reversible transfer of the acetyl group from acetyl phosphate to coenzyme A (CoA), forming acetyl-CoA and inorganic phosphate. Two crystal structures of phosphotransacetylase from the methanogenic archaeon Methanosarcina thermophila in complex with the substrate CoA revealed one CoA (CoA1) bound in the proposed active site cleft and an additional CoA (CoA2) bound at the periphery of the cleft. The results of isothermal titration calorimetry experiments are described, and they support the hypothesis that there are distinct high-affinity (equilibrium dissociation constant [KD], 20 μM) and low-affinity (KD, 2 mM) CoA binding sites. The crystal structures indicated that binding of CoA1 is mediated by a series of hydrogen bonds and extensive van der Waals interactions with the enzyme and that there are fewer of these interactions between CoA2 and the enzyme. Different conformations of the protein observed in the crystal structures suggest that domain movements which alter the geometry of the active site cleft may contribute to catalysis. Kinetic and calorimetric analyses of site-specific replacement variants indicated that there are catalytic roles for Ser309 and Arg310, which are proximal to the reactive sulfhydryl of CoA1. The reaction is hypothesized to proceed through base-catalyzed abstraction of the thiol proton of CoA by the adjacent and invariant residue Asp316, followed by nucleophilic attack of the thiolate anion of CoA on the carbonyl carbon of acetyl phosphate. We propose that Arg310 binds acetyl phosphate and orients it for optimal nucleophilic attack. The hypothesized mechanism proceeds through a negatively charged transition state stabilized by hydrogen bond donation from Ser309.
doi:10.1128/JB.188.3.1143-1154.2006
PMCID: PMC1347337  PMID: 16428418
18.  MreA Functions in the Global Regulation of Methanogenic Pathways in Methanosarcina acetivorans 
mBio  2012;3(4):e00189-12.
ABSTRACT
Results are presented supporting a regulatory role for the product of the MA3302 gene locus (designated MreA) previously annotated as a hypothetical protein in the methanogenic species Methanosarcina acetivorans of the domain Archaea. Sequence analysis of MreA revealed identity to the TrmB family of transcription factors, albeit the sequence is lacking the sensor domain analogous to TrmBL2, abundant in nonmethanogenic species of the domain Archaea. Transcription of mreA was highly upregulated during growth on acetate versus methylotrophic substrates, and an mreA deletion (ΔmreA) strain was impaired for growth with acetate in contrast to normal growth with methylotrophic substrates. Transcriptional profiling of acetate-grown cells identified 280 genes with altered expression in the ΔmreA strain versus the wild-type strain. Expression of genes unique to the acetate pathway decreased whereas expression of genes unique to methylotrophic metabolism increased in the ΔmreA strain relative to the wild type, results indicative of a dual role for MreA in either the direct or indirect activation of acetate-specific genes and repression of methylotrophic-specific genes. Gel shift experiments revealed specific binding of MreA to promoter regions of regulated genes. Homologs of MreA were identified in M. acetivorans and other Methanosarcina species for which expression patterns indicate roles in regulating methylotrophic pathways.
IMPORTANCE
Species in the domain Archaea utilize basal transcription machinery resembling that of the domain Eukarya, raising questions addressing the role of numerous putative transcription factors identified in sequenced archaeal genomes. Species in the genus Methanosarcina are ideally suited for investigating principles of archaeal transcription through analysis of the capacity to utilize a diversity of substrates for growth and methanogenesis. Methanosarcina species switch pathways in response to the most energetically favorable substrate, metabolizing methylotrophic substrates in preference to acetate marked by substantial regulation of gene expression. Although conversion of the methyl group of acetate accounts for most of the methane produced in Earth’s biosphere, no proteins involved in the regulation of genes in the acetate pathway have been reported. The results presented here establish that MreA participates in the global regulation of diverse methanogenic pathways in the genus Methanosarcina. Finally, the results contribute to a broader understanding of transcriptional regulation in the domain Archaea.
doi:10.1128/mBio.00189-12
PMCID: PMC3419521  PMID: 22851658
19.  Carbon-dependent control of electron transfer and central carbon pathway genes for methane biosynthesis in the Archaean, Methanosarcina acetivorans strain C2A 
BMC Microbiology  2010;10:62.
Background
The archaeon, Methanosarcina acetivorans strain C2A forms methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from a variety of one-carbon substrates and acetate. Whereas the biochemical pathways leading to methane formation are well understood, little is known about the expression of the many of the genes that encode proteins needed for carbon flow, electron transfer and/or energy conservation. Quantitative transcript analysis was performed on twenty gene clusters encompassing over one hundred genes in M. acetivorans that encode enzymes/proteins with known or potential roles in substrate conversion to methane.
Results
The expression of many seemingly "redundant" genes/gene clusters establish substrate dependent control of approximately seventy genes for methane production by the pathways for methanol and acetate utilization. These include genes for soluble-type and membrane-type heterodisulfide reductases (hdr), hydrogenases including genes for a vht-type F420 non-reducing hydrogenase, molybdenum-type (fmd) as well as tungsten-type (fwd) formylmethanofuran dehydrogenases, genes for rnf and mrp-type electron transfer complexes, for acetate uptake, plus multiple genes for aha- and atp-type ATP synthesis complexes. Analysis of promoters for seven gene clusters reveal UTR leaders of 51-137 nucleotides in length, raising the possibility of both transcriptional and translational levels of control.
Conclusions
The above findings establish the differential and coordinated expression of two major gene families in M. acetivorans in response to carbon/energy supply. Furthermore, the quantitative mRNA measurements demonstrate the dynamic range for modulating transcript abundance. Since many of these gene clusters in M. acetivorans are also present in other Methanosarcina species including M. mazei, and in M. barkeri, these findings provide a basis for predicting related control in these environmentally significant methanogens.
doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-62
PMCID: PMC2838876  PMID: 20178638
20.  Electron transport in acetate-grown Methanosarcina acetivorans 
BMC Microbiology  2011;11:165.
Background
Acetate is the major source of methane in nature. The majority of investigations have focused on acetotrophic methanogens for which energy-conserving electron transport is dependent on the production and consumption of H2 as an intermediate, although the great majority of acetotrophs are unable to metabolize H2. The presence of cytochrome c and a complex (Ma-Rnf) homologous to the Rnf (Rhodobacter nitrogen fixation) complexes distributed in the domain Bacteria distinguishes non-H2-utilizing Methanosarcina acetivorans from H2-utilizing species suggesting fundamentally different electron transport pathways. Thus, the membrane-bound electron transport chain of acetate-grown M. acetivorans was investigated to advance a more complete understanding of acetotrophic methanogens.
Results
A component of the CO dehydrogenase/acetyl-CoA synthase (CdhAE) was partially purified and shown to reduce a ferredoxin purified using an assay coupling reduction of the ferredoxin to oxidation of CdhAE. Mass spectrometry analysis of the ferredoxin identified the encoding gene among annotations for nine ferredoxins encoded in the genome. Reduction of purified membranes from acetate-grown cells with ferredoxin lead to reduction of membrane-associated multi-heme cytochrome c that was re-oxidized by the addition of either the heterodisulfide of coenzyme M and coenzyme B (CoM-S-S-CoB) or 2-hydoxyphenazine, the soluble analog of methanophenazine (MP). Reduced 2-hydoxyphenazine was re-oxidized by membranes that was dependent on addition of CoM-S-S-CoB. A genomic analysis of Methanosarcina thermophila, a non-H2-utilizing acetotrophic methanogen, identified genes homologous to cytochrome c and the Ma-Rnf complex of M. acetivorans.
Conclusions
The results support roles for ferredoxin, cytochrome c and MP in the energy-conserving electron transport pathway of non-H2-utilizing acetotrophic methanogens. This is the first report of involvement of a cytochrome c in acetotrophic methanogenesis. The results suggest that diverse acetotrophic Methanosarcina species have evolved diverse membrane-bound electron transport pathways leading from ferredoxin and culminating with MP donating electrons to the heterodisulfide reductase (HdrDE) for reduction of CoM-S-S-CoB.
doi:10.1186/1471-2180-11-165
PMCID: PMC3160891  PMID: 21781343
21.  The association-dissociation behavior of the ApoE proteins: kinetic and equilibrium studies 
Biochemistry  2010;49(44):9533-9541.
The apolipoprotein E family consists of three major protein isoforms: apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4), ApoE3 and ApoE2. The isoforms, which contain 299 residues, differ only by single amino acid changes but of the three only ApoE4 is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease. At μM concentrations lipid-free ApoE exists predominantly as tetramers. In more dilute solutions, lower molecular weight species predominate. Using Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS), intermolecular Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) and sedimentation methods we find that the association-dissociation reaction of ApoE can be modeled with a monomer-dimer-tetramer process. Equilibrium constants have been determined from the sedimentation data while the individual rate constants for association and dissociation are determined by measuring the kinetics of dissociation of ApoE and are in agreement with the equilibrium constants. Dissociation kinetics as measured by intermolecular FRET show two phases reflecting the dissociation of tetramer to dimer and of dimer to monomer with dissociation from tetramer to dimer being more rapid than the dimer to monomer dissociation. The rate constants differ for the different ApoE isoforms showing that the association-dissociation process is isoforms specific. Strikingly, the association rate constants are almost two orders of magnitude slower than expected for a diffusion controlled process. Dissociation kinetics were also monitored by tryptophan fluorescence in presence of acrylamide and the data found to be consistent with the monomer-dimer-tetramer model. The approach combining multiple methods establishes the reaction scheme of ApoE self-association.
doi:10.1021/bi101407m
PMCID: PMC3038193  PMID: 20923231
Protein-protein interaction; monomer-dimer-tetramer; rate constants; intermolecular FRET; sedimentation velocity; sedimentation equilibrium
22.  Allosteric activation via kinetic control: Potassium accelerates a conformational change in IMP dehydrogenase† 
Biochemistry  2011;50(39):8508-8518.
Allosteric activators are generally believed to shift the equilibrium distribution of enzyme conformations to favor a catalytically productive structure; the kinetics of conformational exchange is seldom addressed. Several observations suggested that the usual allosteric mechanism might not apply to the activation of IMP dehydrogenase (IMPDH) by monovalent cations. Therefore we investigated the mechanism of K+ activation in IMPDH by delineating the kinetic mechanism in the absence of monovalent cations. Surprisingly, the K+-dependence of kcat derives from the rate of flap closure, which increases by ≥65-fold in the presence of K+. We performed both alchemical free energy simulations and potential of mean force calculations using the orthogonal space random walk strategy to computationally analyze how K+ accelerates this conformational change. The simulations recapitulate the preference of IMPDH for K+, validating the computational models. When K+ is replaced with a dummy ion, the residues of the K+ binding site relax into ordered secondary structure, creating a barrier to conformational exchange. K+ mobilizes these residues by providing alternate interactions for the main chain carbonyls. Potential of mean force calculations indicate that K+ changes the shape of the energy well, shrinking the reaction coordinate by shifting the closed conformation toward the open state. This work suggests that allosteric regulation can be under kinetic as well as thermodynamic control.
doi:10.1021/bi200785s
PMCID: PMC3186055  PMID: 21870820
23.  Identification of the Major Expressed S-Layer and Cell Surface-Layer-Related Proteins in the Model Methanogenic Archaea: Methanosarcina barkeri Fusaro and Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A 
Archaea  2012;2012:873589.
Many archaeal cell envelopes contain a protein coat or sheath composed of one or more surface exposed proteins. These surface layer (S-layer) proteins contribute structural integrity and protect the lipid membrane from environmental challenges. To explore the species diversity of these layers in the Methanosarcinaceae, the major S-layer protein in Methanosarcina barkeri strain Fusaro was identified using proteomics. The Mbar_A1758 gene product was present in multiple forms with apparent sizes of 130, 120, and 100 kDa, consistent with post-translational modifications including signal peptide excision and protein glycosylation. A protein with features related to the surface layer proteins found in Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A and Methanosarcina mazei Goel was identified in the M. barkeri genome. These data reveal a distinct conserved protein signature with features and implied cell surface architecture in the Methanosarcinaceae that is absent in other archaea. Paralogous gene expression patterns in two Methanosarcina species revealed abundant expression of a single S-layer paralog in each strain. Respective promoter elements were identified and shown to be conserved in mRNA coding and upstream untranslated regions. Prior M. acetivorans genome annotations assigned S-layer or surface layer associated roles of eighty genes: however, of 68 examined none was significantly expressed relative to the experimentally determined S-layer gene.
doi:10.1155/2012/873589
PMCID: PMC3361143  PMID: 22666082
24.  Modeling Binding Kinetics at the QA Site in Bacterial Reaction Centers† 
Biochemistry  2005;44(33):10994-11004.
Bacterial reaction centers (RCs) catalyze a series of electron-transfer reactions reducing a neutral quinone to a bound, anionic semiquinone. The dissociation constants and association rates of 13 tailless neutral and anionic benzo- and naphthoquinones for the QA site were measured and compared. The Kd values for these quinones range from 0.08 to 90 μM. For the eight neutral quinones, including duroquinone (DQ) and 2,3-dimethoxy-5-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone (UQ0), the quinone concentration and solvent viscosity dependence of the association rate indicate a second-order rate-determining step. The association rate constants (kon) range from 105 to 107 M−1 s−1. Association and dissociation rate constants were determined at pH values above the hydroxyl pKa for five hydroxyl naphthoquinones. These negatively charged compounds are competitive inhibitors for the QA site. While the neutral quinones reach equilibrium in milliseconds, anionic hydroxyl quinones with similar Kd values take minutes to bind or dissociate. These slow rates are independent of ionic strength, solvent viscosity, and quinone concentration, indicating a first-order rate-limiting step. The anionic semiquinone, formed by forward electron transfer at the QA site, also dissociates slowly. It is not possible to measure the association rate of the unstable semiquinone. However, as the protein creates kinetic barriers for binding and releasing anionic hydroxyl quinones without greatly increasing the affinity relative to neutral quinones, it is suggested that the QA site may do the same for anionic semiquinone. Thus, the slow semiquinone dissociation may not indicate significant thermodynamic stabilization of the reduced species in the QA site.
doi:10.1021/bi050544j
PMCID: PMC2727067  PMID: 16101283
25.  Kinetics and thermodynamics of ouabain binding by intact turkey erythrocytes: effects of external sodium ion, potassium ion, and temperature 
The Journal of General Physiology  1980;76(4):499-516.
The kinetics of association and dissociation for the ouabain-Na+,K+- dependent ATPase complex have been studied in intact turkey erythrocytes as a function of external Na+ concentration, K+ concentration, and temperature. At free ligand concentrations substantially exceeding the concentration of available binding sites, the association reaction exhibits pseudo-first-order kinetics with an association rate constant (k1) that is conveniently determined over a wide range of temperatures (5-37 degrees C). The dissociation reaction exhibits strict first-order kinetics with a dissociation rate constant (k-1) that has the unusual property, in the turkey cell, of being sufficiently great to permit its direct determination even at temperatures as low as 5 degrees C. Values for the equilibrium binding constant for the ouabain-ATPase complex (KA) predicted from the ratio of the association and dissociation rate constants agree closely with independently measured values of KA determined directly under conditions of equilibrium binding. KA is a sensitive function of the composition of the external ionic environment, rising with increasing Na+ concentration and falling with increasing K+ concentration. These changes in KA are shown to be quantitatively attributable to changes in the rate constant k1, k-1 in contrast being unaffected at any given temperature by even very large changes in Na+ or K+ concentration. Arrhenius plots of k1 and k-1 both yield straight lines over the entire temperature range corresponding to activation energies for association and dissociation of 29.5 and 24.2 kcal/mol, respectively. These observations have made it possible to calculate the following standard values for the ouabain binding reaction in the presence of 150 mM Na+: delta G degree = -9.8 kcal/mol; delta H degree = +5.3 kcal/mol; delta S degree = +48.7 cal/degree/mol. The large positive value of delta S degree presumably reflects a highly ordered configuration of the ouabain-free ATPase molecule that is lost upon ouabain binding and that "drives" the reaction despite the positive value of delta H degree.
PMCID: PMC2228615  PMID: 6255063

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