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1.  Diverse Oxygenations Catalyzed by Carbazole 1,9a-Dioxygenase from Pseudomonas sp. Strain CA10 
Journal of Bacteriology  1999;181(10):3105-3113.
Carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) from Pseudomonas sp. strain CA10 is a multicomponent enzyme that catalyzes the angular dioxygenation of carbazole, dibenzofuran, and dibenzo-p-dioxin. It was revealed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance analyses that xanthene and phenoxathiin were converted to 2,2′,3-trihydroxydiphenylmethane and 2,2′,3-trihydroxydiphenyl sulfide, respectively. Thus, for xanthene and phenoxathiin, angular dioxygenation by CARDO occurred at the angular position adjacent to the oxygen atom to yield hetero ring-cleaved compounds. In addition to the angular dioxygenation, CARDO catalyzed the cis dihydroxylation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and biphenyl. Naphthalene and biphenyl were converted by CARDO to cis-1,2-dihydroxy-1,2-dihydronaphthalene and cis-2,3-dihydroxy-2,3-dihydrobiphenyl, respectively. On the other hand, CARDO also catalyzed the monooxygenation of sulfur heteroatoms in dibenzothiophene and of the benzylic methylenic group in fluorene to yield dibenzothiophene-5-oxide and 9-hydroxyfluorene, respectively. These results indicate that CARDO has a broad substrate range and can catalyze diverse oxygenation: angular dioxygenation, cis dihydroxylation, and monooxygenation. The diverse oxygenation catalyzed by CARDO for several aromatic compounds might reflect the differences in the binding of the substrates to the reaction center of CARDO.
PMCID: PMC93765  PMID: 10322011
2.  Plasmid pCAR3 Contains Multiple Gene Sets Involved in the Conversion of Carbazole to Anthranilate†  
The carbazole degradative car-I gene cluster (carAaIBaIBbICIAcI) of Sphingomonas sp. strain KA1 is located on the 254-kb circular plasmid pCAR3. Carbazole conversion to anthranilate is catalyzed by carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO; CarAaIAcI), meta-cleavage enzyme (CarBaIBbI), and hydrolase (CarCI). CARDO is a three-component dioxygenase, and CarAaI and CarAcI are its terminal oxygenase and ferredoxin components. The car-I gene cluster lacks the gene encoding the ferredoxin reductase component of CARDO. In the present study, based on the draft sequence of pCAR3, we found multiple carbazole degradation genes dispersed in four loci on pCAR3, including a second copy of the car gene cluster (carAaIIBaIIBbIICIIAcII) and the ferredoxin/reductase genes fdxI-fdrI and fdrII. Biotransformation experiments showed that FdrI (or FdrII) could drive the electron transfer chain from NAD(P)H to CarAaI (or CarAaII) with the aid of ferredoxin (CarAcI, CarAcII, or FdxI). Because this electron transfer chain showed phylogenetic relatedness to that consisting of putidaredoxin and putidaredoxin reductase of the P450cam monooxygenase system of Pseudomonas putida, CARDO systems of KA1 can be classified in the class IIA Rieske non-heme iron oxygenase system. Reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and quantitative RT-PCR analyses revealed that two car gene clusters constituted operons, and their expression was induced when KA1 was exposed to carbazole, although the fdxI-fdrI and fdrII genes were expressed constitutively. Both terminal oxygenases of KA1 showed roughly the same substrate specificity as that from the well-characterized carbazole degrader Pseudomonas resinovorans CA10, although slight differences were observed.
PMCID: PMC1472349  PMID: 16672458
3.  Purification and Characterization of Carbazole 1,9a-Dioxygenase, a Three-Component Dioxygenase System of Pseudomonas resinovorans Strain CA10 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2002;68(12):5882-5890.
The carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) system of Pseudomonas resinovorans strain CA10 consists of terminal oxygenase (CarAa), ferredoxin (CarAc), and ferredoxin reductase (CarAd). Each component of CARDO was expressed in Escherichia coli strain BL21(DE3) as a native form (CarAa) or a His-tagged form (CarAc and CarAd) and was purified to apparent homogeneity. CarAa was found to be trimeric and to have one Rieske type [2Fe-2S] cluster and one mononuclear iron center in each monomer. Both His-tagged proteins were found to be monomeric and to contain the prosthetic groups predicted from the deduced amino acid sequence (His-tagged CarAd, one FAD and one [2Fe-2S] cluster per monomer protein; His-tagged CarAc, one Rieske type [2Fe-2S] cluster per monomer protein). Both NADH and NADPH were effective as electron donors for His-tagged CarAd. However, since the kcat/Km for NADH is 22.3-fold higher than that for NADPH in the 2,6-dichlorophenolindophenol reductase assay, NADH was supposed to be the physiological electron donor of CarAd. In the presence of NADH, His-tagged CarAc was reduced by His-tagged CarAd. Similarly, CarAa was reduced by His-tagged CarAc, His-tagged CarAd, and NADH. The three purified proteins could reconstitute the CARDO activity in vitro. In the reconstituted CARDO system, His-tagged CarAc seemed to be indispensable for electron transport, while His-tagged CarAd could be replaced by some unrelated reductases.
PMCID: PMC134387  PMID: 12450807
4.  Characterization of Novel Carbazole Catabolism Genes from Gram-Positive Carbazole Degrader Nocardioides aromaticivorans IC177†  
Nocardioides aromaticivorans IC177 is a gram-positive carbazole degrader. The genes encoding carbazole degradation (car genes) were cloned into a cosmid clone and sequenced partially to reveal 19 open reading frames. The car genes were clustered into the carAaCBaBbAcAd and carDFE gene clusters, encoding the enzymes responsible for the degradation of carbazole to anthranilate and 2-hydroxypenta-2,4-dienoate and of 2-hydroxypenta-2,4-dienoate to pyruvic acid and acetyl coenzyme A, respectively. The conserved amino acid motifs proposed to bind the Rieske-type [2Fe-2S] cluster and mononuclear iron, the Rieske-type [2Fe-2S] cluster, and flavin adenine dinucleotide were found in the deduced amino acid sequences of carAa, carAc, and carAd, respectively, which showed similarities with CarAa from Sphingomonas sp. strain KA1 (49% identity), CarAc from Pseudomonas resinovorans CA10 (31% identity), and AhdA4 from Sphingomonas sp. strain P2 (37% identity), respectively. Escherichia coli cells expressing CarAaAcAd exhibited major carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) activity. These data showed that the IC177 CARDO is classified into class IIB, while gram-negative CARDOs are classified into class III or IIA, indicating that the respective CARDOs have diverse types of electron transfer components and high similarities of the terminal oxygenase. Reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) experiments showed that the carAaCBaBbAcAd and carDFE gene clusters are operonic. The results of quantitative RT-PCR experiments indicated that transcription of both operons is induced by carbazole or its metabolite, whereas anthranilate is not an inducer. Biotransformation analysis showed that the IC177 CARDO exhibits significant activities for naphthalene, carbazole, and dibenzo-p-dioxin but less activity for dibenzofuran and biphenyl.
PMCID: PMC1472339  PMID: 16672473
5.  Identification and characterization of genes encoding carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase in Pseudomonas sp. strain CA10. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1997;179(15):4850-4858.
Nucleotide sequence analysis of the flanking regions of the carBC genes of Pseudomonas sp. strain CA10 revealed that there were two open reading frames (ORFs) ORF4 and ORF5, in the upstream region of carBC. Similarly, three ORFs, ORF6 to ORF8, were found in the downstream region of carBC. The deduced amino acid sequences of ORF6 and ORF8 showed homologies with ferredoxin and ferredoxin reductase components of bacterial multicomponent dioxygenase systems, respectively. ORF4 and ORF5 had the same sequence and were tandemly linked. Their deduced amino acid sequences showed about 30% homology with large (alpha) subunits of other terminal oxygenase components. Functional analysis using resting cells harboring the deleted plasmids revealed that the products of ORF4 and -5, ORF6, and ORF8 were terminal dioxygenase, ferredoxin, and ferredoxin reductase, respectively, of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO), which attacks the angular position adjacent to the nitrogen atom of carbazole, and that the product of ORF7 is not indispensable for CARDO activity. Based on the results, ORF4, ORF5, ORF6, and ORF8 were designated carAa, carAa, carAc, and carAd, respectively. The products of carAa, carAd, and ORF7 were shown by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to be polypeptides with molecular masses of 43, 36, and 11 kDa, respectively. However, the product of carAc was not detected in Escherichia coli. CARDO has the ability to oxidize a wide variety of polyaromatic compounds, including dibenzo-p-dioxin, dibenzofuran, biphenyl, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons such as naphthalene and phenanthrene. Since 2,2',3-trihydroxydiphenyl ether and 2,2',3-trihydroxybiphenyl were identified as metabolites of dibenzo-p-dioxin and dibenzofuran, respectively, it was considered that CARDO attacked at the angular position adjacent to the oxygen atom of dibenzo-p-dioxin and dibenzofuran as in the case with carbazole.
PMCID: PMC179333  PMID: 9244274
6.  Hydrogen Peroxide Dependent cis-Dihydroxylation of Benzoate by Fully Oxidized Benzoate 1,2-Dioxygenase† 
Biochemistry  2007;46(27):8004-8016.
Rieske dioxygenases catalyze the reductive activation of O2 for the formation of cis-dihydrodiols from unactivated aromatic compounds. It is known that O2 is activated at a mononuclear non-heme iron site utilizing electrons supplied by a nearby Rieske iron sulfur cluster. However, it is controversial whether the reactive species is an Fe(III)-(hydro)peroxo or an Fe(II)-(hydro)peroxo (or electronically equivalent species formed by breaking the O-O bond). Here it is shown that benzoate 1,2-dioxygenase (BZDO) prepared in a form with the Rieske cluster oxidized and the mononuclear iron in the Fe(III) state can utilize H2O2 as a source of reduced oxygen to form the correct cis-dihydrodiol product from benzoate. The reaction approaches stoichiometric yield relative to the mononuclear Fe(III) concentration, being limited to a single turnover by inefficient product released from the Fe(III)-product complex. EPR and Mössbauer studies show that the iron remains ferric throughout this single turnover “peroxide shunt” reaction. These results strongly support Fe(III)-(hydro)peroxo (or Fe(V)-oxo-hydroxo) as the reactive species because there is no source of additional reducing equivalents to form the Fe(II)-(hydro)peroxo state. This conclusion could be further tested in the case of BZDO because the peroxide shunt occurs very slowly compared with normal turnover, allowing the reactive intermediate to be trapped for spectroscopic analysis. We attribute the slow reaction rate to a forced change in the normally strict order of the substrate binding and enzyme reduction steps that regulate the catalytic cycle. The reactive intermediate is a high-spin ferric species exhibiting an unusual negative zero field splitting and other EPR and Mössbauer spectroscopic properties reminiscent of previously characterized side-on-bound peroxide adducts of Fe(III) model complexes. If the species in BZDO is a similar adduct, its isomer shift is most consistent with an Fe(III)-hydroperoxo reactive state.
PMCID: PMC2720163  PMID: 17567152
7.  Mononuclear Metal–O2 Complexes Bearing Macrocyclic N-Tetramethylated Cyclam Ligands 
Accounts of chemical research  2012;45(8):1321-1330.
Metalloenzymes activate dioxygen to carry out a variety of biological reactions, including the biotransformation of naturally occurring molecules, oxidative metabolism of xenobiotics, and oxidative phosphorylation. The dioxygen activation at the catalytic sites of the enzymes occurs through several steps, such as the binding of O2 at a reduced metal center, the generation of metal–superoxo and –peroxo species, and the O–O bond cleavage of metal–hydroperoxo complexes to form high-valent metal-oxo oxidants. Because these mononuclear metal–dioxygen (M–O2) adducts are implicated as key intermediates in dioxygen activation reactions catalyzed by metalloenzymes, studies of the structural and spectroscopic properties and reactivities of synthetic biomimetic analogues of these species have aided our understanding of their biological chemistry. One particularly versatile class of biomimetic coordination complexes for studying dioxygen activation by metal complexes is M–O2 complexes bearing the macrocyclic N-tetramethylated cyclam (TMC) ligand.
This Account describes the synthesis, structural and spectroscopic characterization, and reactivity studies of M–O2 complexes bearing tetraazamacrocyclic n-TMC ligands, where M = Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, and Ni and n = 12, 13, and 14, based on recent results from our laboratory. We have used various spectroscopic techniques, including resonance Raman and X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and density functional theory (DFT) calculations to characterize several novel metal–O2 complexes. Notably, X-ray crystal structures had shown that these complexes are end-on metal-superoxo and side-on metal-peroxo species. The metal ions and the ring size of the macrocyclic TMC ligands control the geometric and electronic structures of the metal–O2 complexes, resulting in the end-on metal–superoxo versus side-on metal–peroxo structures. Reactivity studies performed with the isolated metal-superoxo complexes reveal that they can conduct electrophilic reactions such as oxygen atom transfer and C–H bond activation of organic substrates. The metal–peroxo complexes are active oxidants in nucleophilic reactions, such as aldehyde deformylation. We also demonstrate a complete intermolecular O2-transfer from metal(III)–peroxo complexes to a Mn(II) complex. The results presented in this Account show the significance of metal ions and supporting ligands in tuning the geometric and electronic structures and reactivities of the metal–O2 intermediates that are relevant in biology and in biomimetic reactions.
PMCID: PMC3627547  PMID: 22612523
8.  Degradation of Chlorinated Dibenzofurans and Dibenzo-p-Dioxins by Two Types of Bacteria Having Angular Dioxygenases with Different Features 
Two kinds of bacteria having different-structured angular dioxygenases—a dibenzofuran (DF)-utilizing bacterium, Terrabacter sp. strain DBF63, and a carbazole (CAR)-utilizing bacterium, Pseudomonas sp. strain CA10—were investigated for their ability to degrade some chlorinated dibenzofurans (CDFs) and chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (CDDs) (or, together, CDF/Ds) using either wild-type strains or recombinant Escherichia coli strains. First, it was shown that CAR 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) catalyzed angular dioxygenation of all mono- to triCDF/Ds investigated in this study, but DF 4,4a-dioxygenase (DFDO) did not degrade 2,7-diCDD. Secondly, degradation of CDF/Ds by the sets of three enzymes (angular dioxygenase, extradiol dioxygenase, and meta-cleavage compound hydrolase) was examined, showing that these enzymes in both strains were able to convert 2-CDF to 5-chlorosalicylic acid but not other tested substrates to the corresponding chlorosalicylic acid (CSA) or chlorocatechol (CC). Finally, we tested the potential of both wild-type strains for cooxidation of CDF/Ds and demonstrated that both strains degraded 2-CDF, 2-CDD, and 2,3-diCDD to the corresponding CSA and CC. We investigated the sites for the attack of angular dioxygenases in each CDF/D congener, suggesting the possibility that the angular dioxygenation of 2-CDF, 2-CDD, 2,3-diCDD, and 1,2,3-triCDD (10 ppm each) by both DFDO and CARDO occurred mainly on the nonsubstituted aromatic nuclei.
PMCID: PMC93062  PMID: 11472938
9.  Structural investigations of the ferredoxin and terminal oxygenase components of the biphenyl 2,3-dioxygenase from Sphingobium yanoikuyae B1 
The initial step involved in oxidative hydroxylation of monoaromatic and polyaromatic compounds by the microorganism Sphingobium yanoikuyae strain B1 (B1), previously known as Sphingomonas yanoikuyae strain B1 and Beijerinckia sp. strain B1, is performed by a set of multiple terminal Rieske non-heme iron oxygenases. These enzymes share a single electron donor system consisting of a reductase and a ferredoxin (BPDO-FB1). One of the terminal Rieske oxygenases, biphenyl 2,3-dioxygenase (BPDO-OB1), is responsible for B1's ability to dihydroxylate large aromatic compounds, such as chrysene and benzo[a]pyrene.
In this study, crystal structures of BPDO-OB1 in both native and biphenyl bound forms are described. Sequence and structural comparisons to other Rieske oxygenases show this enzyme to be most similar, with 43.5 % sequence identity, to naphthalene dioxygenase from Pseudomonas sp. strain NCIB 9816-4. While structurally similar to naphthalene 1,2-dioxygenase, the active site entrance is significantly larger than the entrance for naphthalene 1,2-dioxygenase. Differences in active site residues also allow the binding of large aromatic substrates. There are no major structural changes observed upon binding of the substrate. BPDO-FB1 has large sequence identity to other bacterial Rieske ferredoxins whose structures are known and demonstrates a high structural homology; however, differences in side chain composition and conformation around the Rieske cluster binding site are noted.
This is the first structure of a Rieske oxygenase that oxidizes substrates with five aromatic rings to be reported. This ability to catalyze the oxidation of larger substrates is a result of both a larger entrance to the active site as well as the ability of the active site to accommodate larger substrates. While the biphenyl ferredoxin is structurally similar to other Rieske ferredoxins, there are distinct changes in the amino acids near the iron-sulfur cluster. Because this ferredoxin is used by multiple oxygenases present in the B1 organism, this ferredoxin-oxygenase system provides the structural platform to dissect the balance between promiscuity and selectivity in protein-protein electron transport systems.
PMCID: PMC1847435  PMID: 17349044
10.  Crystal Structure of the Terminal Oxygenase Component of Cumene Dioxygenase from Pseudomonas fluorescens IP01†  
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(7):2483-2490.
The crystal structure of the terminal component of the cumene dioxygenase multicomponent enzyme system of Pseudomonas fluorescens IP01 (CumDO) was determined at a resolution of 2.2 Å by means of molecular replacement by using the crystal structure of the terminal oxygenase component of naphthalene dioxygenase from Pseudomonas sp. strain NCIB 9816-4 (NphDO). The ligation of the two catalytic centers of CumDO (i.e., the nonheme iron and Rieske [2Fe-2S] centers) and the bridging between them in neighboring catalytic subunits by hydrogen bonds through a single amino acid residue, Asp231, are similar to those of NphDO. An unidentified external ligand, possibly dioxygen, was bound at the active site nonheme iron. The entrance to the active site of CumDO is different from the entrance to the active site of NphDO, as the two loops forming the lid exhibit great deviation. On the basis of the complex structure of NphDO, a biphenyl substrate was modeled in the substrate-binding pocket of CumDO. The residues surrounding the modeled biphenyl molecule include residues that have already been shown to be important for its substrate specificity by a number of engineering studies of biphenyl dioxygenases.
PMCID: PMC1065230  PMID: 15774891
11.  The Genes Coding for the Conversion of Carbazole to Catechol Are Flanked by IS6100 Elements in Sphingomonas sp. Strain XLDN2-5 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(4):e10018.
Carbazole is a recalcitrant compound with a dioxin-like structure and possesses mutagenic and toxic activities. Bacteria respond to a xenobiotic by recruiting exogenous genes to establish a pathway to degrade the xenobiotic, which is necessary for their adaptation and survival. Usually, this process is mediated by mobile genetic elements such as plasmids, transposons, and insertion sequences.
The genes encoding the enzymes responsible for the degradation of carbazole to catechol via anthranilate were cloned, sequenced, and characterized from a carbazole-degrading Sphingomonas sp. strain XLDN2-5. The car gene cluster (carRAaBaBbCAc) and fdr gene were accompanied on both sides by two copies of IS6100 elements, and organized as IS6100::ISSsp1-ORF1-carRAaBaBbCAc-ORF8-IS6100-fdr-IS6100. Carbazole was converted by carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO, CarAaAcFdr), meta-cleavage enzyme (CarBaBb), and hydrolase (CarC) to anthranilate and 2-hydroxypenta-2,4-dienoate. The fdr gene encoded a novel ferredoxin reductase whose absence resulted in lower transformation activity of carbazole by CarAa and CarAc. The ant gene cluster (antRAcAdAbAa) which was involved in the conversion of anthranilate to catechol was also sandwiched between two IS6100 elements as IS6100-antRAcAdAbAa-IS6100. Anthranilate 1,2-dioxygenase (ANTDO) was composed of a reductase (AntAa), a ferredoxin (AntAb), and a two-subunit terminal oxygenase (AntAcAd). Reverse transcription-PCR results suggested that carAaBaBbCAc gene cluster, fdr, and antRAcAdAbAa gene cluster were induced when strain XLDN2-5 was exposed to carbazole. Expression of both CARDO and ANTDO in Escherichia coli required the presence of the natural reductases for full enzymatic activity.
We predict that IS6100 might play an important role in the establishment of carbazole-degrading pathway, which endows the host to adapt to novel compounds in the environment. The organization of the car and ant genes in strain XLDN2-5 was unique, which showed strong evolutionary trail of gene recruitment mediated by IS6100 and presented a remarkable example of rearrangements and pathway establishments.
PMCID: PMC2848856  PMID: 20368802
12.  Purification and characterization of the oxygenase component of biphenyl 2,3-dioxygenase from Pseudomonas sp. strain LB400. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1995;177(20):5834-5839.
The iron-sulfur protein of biphenyl 2,3-dioxygenase (ISPBPH) was purified from Pseudomonas sp. strain LB400. The protein is composed of a 1:1 ratio of a large (alpha) subunit with an estimated molecular weight of 53,300 and a small (beta) subunit with an estimated molecular weight of 27,300. The native molecular weight was 209,000, indicating that the protein adopts an alpha 3 beta 3 native conformation. Measurements of iron and acid-labile sulfide gave 2 mol of each per mol of alpha beta heterodimer. The absorbance spectrum showed peaks at 325 and 450 nm with a broad shoulder at 550 nm. The spectrum was bleached upon reduction of the protein with NADPH in the presence of catalytic amounts of ferredoxinBPH and ferredoxinBPH oxidoreductase. The electron paramagnetic resonance spectrum of the reduced protein showed three signals at gx = 1.74, gy = 1.92, and gz = 2.01. These properties are characteristic of proteins that contain a Rieske-type [2Fe-2S] center. Biphenyl was oxidized to cis-(2R,3S)-dihydroxy-1-phenylcyclohexa-4,6-diene by ISPBPH in the presence of ferredoxinBPH, ferredoxinBPH oxidoreductase, NADPH, and ferrous iron. Naphthalene was also oxidized to a cis-dihydrodiol, but only 3% was converted to product under the same conditions that gave 92% oxidation of biphenyl. Benzene, toluene, 2,5-dichlorotoluene, carbazole, and dibenzothiophene were not oxidized. ISPBPH is proposed to be the terminal oxygenase component of biphenyl 2,3-dioxygenase where substrate binding and oxidation occur via addition of molecular oxygen and two reducing equivalents.
PMCID: PMC177406  PMID: 7592331
13.  Near-IR MCD of the Non-Heme Ferrous Active Site in Naphthalene 1,2-Dioxygenase: Correlation to Crystallography and Structural Insight into the Mechanism of Rieske Dioxygenases 
Near-IR MCD and variable temperature, variable field (VTVH) MCD have been applied to Naphthalene 1,2-dioxygenase (NDO) to describe the coordination geometry and electronic structure of the mononuclear non-heme ferrous catalytic site in the resting and substrate-bound forms with the Rieske 2Fe2S cluster oxidized and reduced. The structural results are correlated with the crystallographic studies of NDO and other related Rieske non-heme iron oxygenases to develop molecular level insights into the structure/function correlation for this class of enzymes. The MCD data for resting NDO with the Rieske center oxidized indicate the presence of a six-coordinate high-spin ferrous site with a weak axial ligand which becomes more tightly coordinated when the Rieske center is reduced. Binding of naphthalene to resting NDO (Rieske oxidized and reduced) converts the six-coordinate sites into five-coordinate (5c) sites with elimination of a water ligand. In the Rieske oxidized form the 5c sites are square pyramidal, but transform to a 1:2 mixture of trigonal bipyramial/square pyramidal sites when the Rieske center is reduced. Thus the geometric and electronic structure of the catalytic site in the presence of substrate can be significantly affected by the redox state of the Rieske center. The catalytic ferrous site is primed for the O2 reaction when substrate is bound in the active site in the presence of the reduced Rieske site. These structural changes insure that two electrons and the substrate are present before the binding and activation of O2, which avoids the uncontrolled formation and release of reactive oxygen species.
PMCID: PMC2886598  PMID: 18189388
14.  Structures of the multicomponent Rieske non-heme iron toluene 2,3-dioxygenase enzyme system 
The crystal structures of the three-component toluene 2,3-dioxygenase system provide a model for electron transfer among bacterial Rieske non-heme iron dioxygenases.
Bacterial Rieske non-heme iron oxygenases catalyze the initial hydroxylation of aromatic hydrocarbon substrates. The structures of all three components of one such system, the toluene 2,3-dioxygenase system, have now been determined. This system consists of a reductase, a ferredoxin and a terminal dioxygenase. The dioxygenase, which was cocrystallized with toluene, is a heterohexamer containing a catalytic and a structural subunit. The catalytic subunit contains a Rieske [2Fe–2S] cluster and mononuclear iron at the active site. This iron is not strongly bound and is easily removed during enzyme purification. The structures of the enzyme with and without mononuclear iron demonstrate that part of the structure is flexible in the absence of iron. The orientation of the toluene substrate in the active site is consistent with the regiospecificity of oxygen incorporation seen in the product formed. The ferredoxin is Rieske type and contains a [2Fe–2S] cluster close to the protein surface. The reductase belongs to the glutathione reductase family of flavoenzymes and consists of three domains: an FAD-binding domain, an NADH-binding domain and a C-terminal domain. A model for electron transfer from NADH via FAD in the reductase and the ferredoxin to the terminal active-site mononuclear iron of the dioxygenase is proposed.
PMCID: PMC2628974  PMID: 19153463
toluene; dioxygenases; electron transfer; Rieske clusters; reductases; ferredoxins; NADH; FAD
15.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of a novel ferredoxin involved in the dioxygenation of carbazole by Novosphingobium sp. KA1 
The ferredoxin component of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO-F) is involved in an electron-transfer reaction. The CARDO-F from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 was crystallized under anaerobic conditions and diffracted to a resolution of 1.9 Å.
Novosphingobium sp. KA1 uses carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) as the first dioxygenase in its carbazole-degradation pathway. The CARDO of KA1 contains a terminal oxygenase component and two electron-transfer components: ferredoxin and ferredoxin reductase. In contrast to the CARDO systems of other species, the ferredoxin component of KA1 is a putidaredoxin-type protein. This novel ferredoxin was crystallized at 293 K by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG MME 550 as the precipitant under anaerobic conditions. The crystals belong to space group C2221 and diffraction data were collected to a resolution of 1.9 Å (the diffraction limit was 1.6 Å).
PMCID: PMC2443972  PMID: 18607094
carbazole; putidaredoxin-type proteins; Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenases
16.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the electron-transfer complex between the terminal oxygenase component and ferredoxin in the Rieske non-haem iron oxygenase system carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase 
The electron-transfer complex between the terminal oxygenase and ferredoxin of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase was crystallized and diffraction data were collected to 1.90 Å resolution.
Carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase, which consists of an oxygenase component (CARDO-O) and the electron-transport components ferredoxin (CARDO-F) and ferredoxin reductase (CARDO-R), catalyzes dihydroxylation at the C1 and C9a positions of carbazole. The electron-transport complex between CARDO-­O and CARDO-F crystallizes at 293 K using hanging-drop vapour diffusion with the precipitant PEG MME 2000 (type I crystals) or PEG 3350 (type II). Blossom-shaped crystals form from a pile of triangular plate-shaped crystals. The type I crystal diffracts to a maximum resolution of 1.90 Å and belongs to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 97.1, b = 89.8, c = 104.9 Å, α = γ = 90, β = 103.8°. Diffraction data for the type I crystal gave an overall R merge of 8.0% and a completeness of 100%. Its V M value is 2.63 Å3 Da−1, indicating a solvent content of 53.2%.
PMCID: PMC1952320  PMID: 16511100
angular dioxygenases; carbazole; electron-transfer complexes; Rieske non-haem iron oxygenase systems; Rieske-type ferredoxins; Rieske-type proteins
17.  Substrate Specificity and Structural Characteristics of the Novel Rieske Nonheme Iron Aromatic Ring-Hydroxylating Oxygenases NidAB and NidA3B3 from Mycobacterium vanbaalenii PYR-1 
mBio  2010;1(2):e00135-10.
The Rieske nonheme iron aromatic ring-hydroxylating oxygenases (RHOs) NidAB and NidA3B3 from Mycobacterium vanbaalenii PYR-1 have been implicated in the initial oxidation of high-molecular-weight (HMW) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), forming cis-dihydrodiols. To clarify how these two RHOs are functionally different with respect to the degradation of HMW PAHs, we investigated their substrate specificities to 13 representative aromatic substrates (toluene, m-xylene, phthalate, biphenyl, naphthalene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benz[a]anthracene, benzo[a]pyrene, carbazole, and dibenzothiophene) by enzyme reconstitution studies of Escherichia coli. Both Nid systems were identified to be compatible with type V electron transport chain (ETC) components, consisting of a [3Fe-4S]-type ferredoxin and a glutathione reductase (GR)-type reductase. Metabolite profiles indicated that the Nid systems oxidize a wide range of aromatic hydrocarbon compounds, producing various isomeric dihydrodiol and phenolic compounds. NidAB and NidA3B3 showed the highest conversion rates for pyrene and fluoranthene, respectively, with high product regiospecificity, whereas other aromatic substrates were converted at relatively low regiospecificity. Structural characteristics of the active sites of the Nid systems were investigated and compared to those of other RHOs. The NidAB and NidA3B3 systems showed the largest substrate-binding pockets in the active sites, which satisfies spatial requirements for accepting HMW PAHs. Spatially conserved aromatic amino acids, Phe-Phe-Phe, in the substrate-binding pockets of the Nid systems appeared to play an important role in keeping aromatic substrates within the reactive distance from the iron atom, which allows each oxygen to attack the neighboring carbons.
Since the discovery of microbial ring-hydroxylating oxygenases (RHOs) in 1970, the sequences, structures, and enzyme biochemistry, including enantiospecific products, of RHOs have been studied and discussed extensively from the perspective of biodegradation, biotransformation, and biocatalysis processes. However, with all that effort to elucidate the enzymatic mechanisms of RHOs, little is known about the biochemistry and enzymology underlying high-molecular-weight (HMW) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) degradation. We used Mycobacterium vanbaalenii PYR-1 Nid enzymes, the first type V RHO members to display an apparent substrate preference for HMW PAHs. Here, we examine the mechanism of the RHO reaction by integrating structural information of the NidAB and NidA3B3 enzymes with substrate and product data. This study gives us an understanding of how the model RHO systems of M. vanbaalenii PYR-1 metabolize HMW PAHs. The information obtained would also be helpful for successful application of RHO enzymes to the production of industrially and medically important chiral chemicals and the development of PAH bioremediation technologies.
PMCID: PMC2921158  PMID: 20714442
18.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of the ferredoxin reductase component in the Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenase system carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase 
The NAD(P)H:ferredoxin oxidoreductase in carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase from Janthinobacterium sp. J3 was crystallized and diffraction data were collected to 2.60 Å resolution.
Carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO), which consists of an oxygenase component (CARDO-O) and the electron-transport components ferredoxin (CARDO-F) and ferredoxin reductase (CARDO-R), catalyzes dihydroxylation at the C1 and C9a positions of carbazole. CARDO-R was crystallized at 277 K using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with the precipitant PEG 8000. Two crystal types (types I and II) were obtained. The type I crystal diffracted to a maximum resolution of 2.80 Å and belonged to space group P42212, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 158.7, c = 81.4 Å. The type II crystal was obtained in drops from which type I crystals had been removed; it diffracted to 2.60 Å resolution and belonged to the same space group, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 161.8, c = 79.5 Å.
PMCID: PMC2335075  PMID: 17554172
angular dioxygenases; NAD(P)H:ferredoxin oxidoreductases; Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenase system; electron transfer; carbazole
19.  The “Bridging” Aspartate 178 in Phthalate Dioxygenase Facilitates Interactions between the Rieske Center and the Fe(II)-Mononuclear center 
Biochemistry  2006;45(34):10208-10216.
Phthalate dioxygenase (PDO) and its reductase are parts of a two-component Rieske dioxygenase system that initiates the aerobic breakdown of phthalate by forming cis-4,5-dihydro-4,5-dihydroxyphthalate (DHD). Aspartate D178 in PDO, located near its ferrous mononuclear center, is highly conserved among Rieske dioxygenases. The analogous aspartate has been implicated in electron transfer between the mononuclear iron and Rieske center in naphthalene dioxygenase (Parales, R.E. et. al. (1999) J Bacteriol 181, 1831–1837) and in substrate binding and oxygen reactivity in anthranilate dioxygenase (Beharry, Z.M. et. al (2003), Biochemistry 42, 13625–13636). The effects of substituting D178 in PDO with alanine or asparagine on the reactivity of the Rieske centers, phthalate hydroxylation, and coupling of Rieske center oxidation to DHD formation were studied previously (Pinto, A., Tarasev, M., and Ballou, D. P. (2006) Biochemistry in press). This work describes effects that D178N and D178A substitutions have on the interactions between the Rieske and mononuclear centers in PDO. The mutations affected protonation of the Rieske center histidine and conformation of subunits within the PDO multimer to create a more open structure with more solvent-accessible Rieske centers. When the Rieske centers in PDO were oxidized, D178N and D178A substitutions disrupted communication between the Rieske and Fe-mononuclear centers. This was shown by the lack of perturbations of the UV-vis spectra on phthalate binding to the D178N and D178A variants, as opposed to that observed in WT PDO. However, when the Rieske center was in the reduced state, communication between the centers was not disrupted. Phthalate binding similarly affected the rates of oxidation of the reduced Rieske center in both WT and mutant PDO. Nitric Oxide binding at the Fe(II) mononuclear center, as detected by EPR spectrometry of the Fe(II) nitrosyl complex, was regulated by the redox state of the Rieske center. When the Rieske center was oxidized in either WT or D178N PDO, NO bound to the mononuclear iron in the presence or absence of phthalate. However, when the Rieske center was reduced, NO bound only when phthalate was present. These findings are discussed in terms of the “communication functions” performed by the bridging Asp-178.
PMCID: PMC2546612  PMID: 16922496
20.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of a ferredoxin reductase component of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 
The ferredoxin reductase component of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (Red) is involved in electron transfer from NAD(P)H to ferredoxin. The class IIA Red from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 was crystallized and the crystal diffracted to a resolution of 1.58 Å.
Carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) is the initial enzyme of the carbazole-degradation pathway. The CARDO of Novosphingobium sp. KA1 consists of a terminal oxygenase, a putidaredoxin-type ferredoxin and a ferredoxin-NADH oxidoreductase (Red) and is classified as a class IIA Rieske oxygenase. Red from KA1 was crystallized at 278 K by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG 4000. The crystal diffracted to 1.58 Å resolution and belonged to space group P32, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 92.2, c = 78.6 Å, α = γ = 90, β = 120°. Preliminary analysis of the X-ray diffraction data revealed that the asymmetric unit contained two Red monomers. The crystal appeared to be a merohedral twin, with a twin fraction of 0.32 and twin law (−h, −k, l).
PMCID: PMC2882777  PMID: 20516607
carbazole; Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenases; ferredoxin reductases
21.  Radical Intermediates in Monooxygenase Reactions of Rieske Dioxygenases 
Rieske dioxygenases catalyze the cis-dihydroxylation of a wide range of aromatic compounds to initiate their biodegradation. The archetypal Rieske dioxygenase naphthalene 1,2-dioxygenase (NDOS) catalyzes dioxygenation of naphthalene to form (+)-cis-(1R,2S)-dihydroxy-1,2-dihydronaphthalene. NDOS is composed of three proteins: a reductase, a ferredoxin, and an α3β3 oxygenase (NDO). In each α subunit, NDO contains a Rieske Fe2S2 cluster and a mononuclear iron site where substrate dihydroxylation occurs. NDOS also catalyzes monooxygenase reactions for many substrates. The mechanism of the reaction is unknown for either the mono- or di-oxygenase reactions, but has been postulated to involve either direct reaction of a structurally characterized Fe(III)-hydroperoxy intermediate or the electronically equivalent Fe(V)-oxo-hydroxo intermediate formed by O-O bond cleavage before reaction with substrate. The reaction for the former intermediate is expected to proceed through cationic intermediates while the latter is anticipated to initially form a radical intermediate. Here the monooxygenation reactions of the diagnostic probe molecules norcarane and bicyclohexane are investigated. In each case, a significant amount of the rearrangement product derived from a radical intermediate (lifetime of 11–18 ns) is observed while little or no ring expansion product from a cationic intermediate is formed. Thus, monooxygenation of these molecules appears to proceed via the Fe(V)-oxo-hydroxo intermediate. The formation of this high-valent intermediate shows that it must also be considered as a possible participant in the dioxygenation reaction, in contrast to computational studies but in accord with previous biomimetic studies.
PMCID: PMC2720596  PMID: 17341076
22.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of a terminal oxygenase of carbazole 1,9a-­dioxygenase from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 
The terminal oxygenase component (Oxy) of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) catalyzes dihydroxylation of the aromatic ring. The Oxy of CARDO from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 was crystallized and the crystals diffracted to a resolution of 2.1 Å.
Carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) is the initial dioxygenase in the carbazole-degradation pathway of Novosphingobium sp. KA1. The CARDO from KA1 consists of a terminal oxygenase (Oxy), a putidaredoxin-type ferredoxin and a ferredoxin reductase. The Oxy from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 was crystallized at 277 K using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with ammonium sulfate as the precipitant. Diffraction data were collected to a resolution of 2.1 Å. The crystals belonged to the monoclinic space group P21. Self-rotation function analysis suggested that the asymmetric unit contained two Oxy trimers; the Matthews coefficient and solvent content were calculated to be 5.9 Å3 Da−1 and 79.1%, respectively.
PMCID: PMC3001653  PMID: 21045300
carbazole; Novosphingobium; Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenases; sphingomonads; terminal oxygenases
23.  Molecular Characterization and Substrate Specificity of Nitrobenzene Dioxygenase from Comamonas sp. Strain JS765 
Comamonas sp. strain JS765 can grow with nitrobenzene as the sole source of carbon, nitrogen, and energy. We report here the sequence of the genes encoding nitrobenzene dioxygenase (NBDO), which catalyzes the first step in the degradation of nitrobenzene by strain JS765. The components of NBDO were designated ReductaseNBZ, FerredoxinNBZ, OxygenaseNBZα, and OxygenaseNBZβ, with the gene designations nbzAa, nbzAb, nbzAc, and nbzAd, respectively. Sequence analysis showed that the components of NBDO have a high level of homology with the naphthalene family of Rieske nonheme iron oxygenases, in particular, 2-nitrotoluene dioxygenase from Pseudomonas sp. strain JS42. The enzyme oxidizes a wide range of substrates, and relative reaction rates with partially purified OxygenaseNBZ revealed a preference for 3-nitrotoluene, which was shown to be a growth substrate for JS765. NBDO is the first member of the naphthalene family of Rieske nonheme iron oxygenases reported to oxidize all of the isomers of mono- and dinitrotoluenes with the concomitant release of nitrite.
PMCID: PMC126692  PMID: 11823201
24.  Assessment of Toluene/Biphenyl Dioxygenase Gene Diversity in Benzene-Polluted Soils: Links between Benzene Biodegradation and Genes Similar to Those Encoding Isopropylbenzene Dioxygenases†  
The PCR-single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) technique was used to assess the diversity and distribution of Rieske nonheme iron oxygenases of the toluene/biphenyl subfamily in soil DNA and bacterial isolates recovered from sites contaminated with benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX). The central cores of genes encoding the catalytic α subunits were targeted, since they are responsible for the substrate specificities of these enzymes. SSCP functional genotype fingerprinting revealed a substantial diversity of oxygenase genes in three differently BTEX-contaminated soil samples, and sequence analysis indicated that in both the soil DNA and the bacterial isolates, genes for oxygenases related to the isopropylbenzene (cumene) dioxygenase branch of the toluene/biphenyl oxygenase subfamily were predominant among the detectable genotypes. The peptide sequences of the two most abundant α subunit sequence types differed by only five amino acids (residues 258, 286, 288, 289, and 321 according to numbering in cumene dioxygenase α subunit CumA1 of Pseudomonas fluorescens IP01). However, a strong correlation between sequence type and substrate utilization pattern was observed in isolates harboring these genes. Two of these residues were located at positions contributing, according to the resolved crystal structure of cumene dioxygenase from Pseudomonas fluorescens IP01, to the inner surface of the substrate-binding pocket. Isolates containing an α subunit with isoleucine and leucine at positions 288 and 321, respectively, were capable of degrading benzene and toluene, whereas isolates containing two methionine substitutions were found to be incapable of degrading toluene, indicating that the more bulky methionine residues significantly narrowed the available space within the substrate-binding pocket.
PMCID: PMC1472391  PMID: 16672497
25.  Alteration of Regiospecificity in Biphenyl Dioxygenase by Active-Site Engineering 
Journal of Bacteriology  2002;184(13):3682-3688.
Biphenyl dioxygenase (Bph Dox) is responsible for the initial dioxygenation step during the metabolism of biphenyl. The large subunit (BphA1) of Bph Dox plays a crucial role in the determination of the substrate specificity of biphenyl-related compounds, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Based on crystallographic analyses of naphthalene dioxygenase (B. Kauppi, K. Lee, E. Carredano, R. E. Parales, D. T. Gibson, H. Eklund, and S. Ramaswamy, Structure 6:571-586, 1998), we developed a three-dimensional model of KF707 BphA1 of Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes KF707. Based on structural information about the amino acids which coordinate the catalytic nonheme iron center, we constructed 12 site-directed BphA1 mutants with changes at positions 227, 332, 335, 376, 377, and 383 and expressed these enzymes in Escherichia coli. The Ile335Phe, Thr376Asn, and Phe377Leu Bph Dox mutants exhibited altered regiospecificities for various PCBs compared with wild-type Bph Dox. In particular, the Ile335Phe mutant acquired the ability to degrade 2,5,2′,5′-tetrachlorobiphenyl by 3,4-dioxygenation and showed bifunctional 2,3-dioxygenase and 3,4-dioxygenase activities for 2,5,2′-trichlorobiphenyl and 2,5,4′-trichlorobiphenyl. Furthermore, two mutants, the Phe227Val and Phe377Ala mutants, introduced molecular oxygen at the 2,3 position, forming 3-chloro-2′,3′-dihydroxy biphenyl with concomitant dechlorination.
PMCID: PMC135152  PMID: 12057964

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