Biaso F., Burlat B., Guigliarelli B
The periplasmic nitrate reductase NAP belongs to the DMSO reductase family that regroups molybdoenzymes housing a bis-molybdopterin cofactor as the active site. Several forms of the Mo(V) state, an intermediate redox state in the catalytic cycle of the enzyme, have been evidenced by EPR spectroscopy under various conditions, but their structure and catalytic relevance are not fully understood. On the basis of structural data available from the literature, we built several models that reproduce the first coordination sphere of the molybdenum cofactor and used DFT methods to make magneto-structural correlations on EPR-detected species. “High-g” states, which are the most abundant Mo(V) species, are characterized by a low-anisotropy g tensor and a high gmin value. We assign this signature to a six-sulfur coordination sphere in a pseudotrigonal prismatic geometry with a partial disulfide bond. The “very high-g” species is well described with a sulfido ion as the sixth ligand. The “low-g” signal can be successfully associated to a Mo(V) sulfite–oxidase-type active site with only one pterin moiety coordinated to the molybdenum ion with an oxo or sulfido axial ligand. For all these species we investigate their catalytic activity using a thermodynamic point of view on the molybdenum coordination sphere. Beyond the periplasmic nitrate reductase case, this work provides useful magneto-structural correlations to characterize EPR-detected species in mononuclear molybdoenzymes.