J Jacques, B Burlat, P Arnoux, M Sabaty, B Guigliarelli, C Léger, D Pignol, V Fourmond
Periplasmic nitrate reductase catalyzes the reduction of nitrate into nitrite using a mono- nuclear molybdenum cofactor that has nearly the same structure in all enzymes of the DMSO reductase family. In previous electrochemical investigations, we found that the enzyme exists in several inactive states, some of which may have been previously iso- lated and mistaken for catalytic intermediates. In particular, the enzyme slowly and reversibly inactivates when exposed to high concentrations of nitrate. Here, we study the kinetics of substrate inhibition and their dependence on electrode potential and sub- strate concentration to learn about the properties of the active and inactive forms of the enzyme. We conclude that the substrate-inhibited enzyme never significantly accu- mulates in the EPR-active Mo(+V) state. This conclusion is relevant to spectroscopic investigations where attempts are made to trap a Mo(+V) catalytic intermediate using high concentrations of nitrate.
JG Jacques; V Foumond; P Arnoux; M Sabaty; E Etienne; S Grosse; F Biaso; P Bertrand; D Pignol; C Léger; B Guigliarelli; B Burlat
In Rhodobacter sphaeroides periplasmic nitrate reductase NapAB, the major Mo(V) form (the “high g” species) in air-purified samples is inactive and requires reduction to irreversibly convert into a catalytically competent form (Fourmond et al., J. Phys. Chem., 2008). In the present work, we study the kinetics of the activation process by combining EPR spectroscopy and direct electrochemistry. Upon reduction, the Mo (V) “high g” resting EPR signal slowly decays while the other redox centers of the protein are rapidly reduced, which we interpret as a slow and gated (or coupled) intramolecular electron transfer between the [4Fe–4S] center and the Mo cofactor in the inactive enzyme. Besides, we detect spin–spin interactions between the Mo(V) ion and the [4Fe–4S]1 + cluster which are modified upon activation of the enzyme, while the EPR signatures associated to the Mo cofactor remain almost unchanged. This shows that the activation process, which modifies the exchange coupling pathway between the Mo and the [4Fe–4S]1 + centers, occurs further away than in the first coordination sphere of the Mo ion. Relying on structural data and studies on Mo-pyranopterin and models, we propose a molecular mechanism of activation which involves the pyranopterin moiety of the molybdenum cofactor that is proximal to the [4Fe–4S] cluster. The mechanism implies both the cyclization of the pyran ring and the reduction of the oxidized pterin to give the competent tricyclic tetrahydropyranopterin form.
Fourmond V, Sabaty M, Arnoux D, Bertrand P, Pignol D, Léger C.
We examined the kinetics of nitrate reduction by periplasmic nitrate reductase (Nap) by using protein film voltammetry and solution assays. We demonstrate that, under turnover conditions, the enzyme exists as a mixture of active and inactive forms which interconvert on a time scale that is much slower than turnover. The dead-end species accumulates under mildly reducing conditions and at high nitrate concentration, resulting in substrate inhibition and in an uncommon hysteresis in the voltammetric signature. Solution assays with two electron donors having different reduction potentials fully support the electrochemical results. This illustrates the consequences of the high flexibility of the active site molybdenum coordination sphere and questions the conclusions from earlier studies in which attempts were made to trap catalytic intermediates of Nap in experiments carried out under turnover conditions at very high substrate concentration.
Fourmond V, Burlat B, Dementin S, Sabaty M, Arnoux D, Etienne E, Guigliarelli B, Bertrand P, Pignol D, Léger C
Biochemistry. 2010 Mar 23;49(11):2424-32. doi: 10.1021/bi902140e.
Rhodobacter sphaeroides periplasmic nitrate reductase (Rs NapAB) is one of the enzymes whose assays give odd results: in spectrophotometric assays with methyl viologen as the electron donor, the activity increases as the reaction progresses, whereas the driving force provided by the soluble redox partner decreases; in protein film voltammetry (PFV), whereby the enzyme directly exchanges electrons with an electrode, the activity of NapAB decreases at large overpotential, whereas a monotonic increase is expected [Elliott, S. J., et al. (2002) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1555, 54−59]. The relations between these phenomena and the catalytic mechanism are still debated. By studying NapAB mutants, we found that the peculiar dependences of electrochemical and solution activities on driving force are greatly affected by substituting certain amino acids that are located in the vicinity of the active site (M153, Q384, R392); this led us to establish and discuss the relation between the experimental parameters of the electrochemical and spectrophotometric assays: we show that the rate of reduction of the enzyme (which depends on the electrode potential or on the concentration of reduced MV) modulates the activity of the enzyme, but the “solution potential” does not. Our results also support the view that the complex profiles of activity versus potential are fingerprints of the active site chemistry, rather than direct consequences of changes in the redox states of relays that are remote from the active site.
Fourmond V, Lautier T, Baffert C, Leroux F, Liebgott PP, Dementin S, Rousset M, Arnoux P, Pignol D, Meynial-Salles I, Soucaille P, Bertrand P, Léger C
Chronoamperometric experiments with adsorbed electrocatalysts are commonly performed either for analytical purposes or for studying the catalytic mechanism of a redox enzyme. In the context of amperometric sensors, the current may be recorded as a function of time while the analyte concentration is being increased to determine a linearity range. In mechanistic studies of redox enzymes, chronoamperometry proved powerful for untangling the effects of electrode potential and time, which are convoluted in cyclic voltammetric measurements, and for studying the energetics and kinetics of inhibition. In all such experiments, the fact that the catalyst’s coverage and/or activity decreases over time distorts the data. This may hide meaningful features, introduce systematic errors, and limit the accuracy of the measurements. We propose a general and surprisingly simple method for correcting for electrocatalyst desorption and inactivation, which greatly increases the precision of chronoamperometric experiments. Rather than subtracting a baseline, this consists in dividing the current, either by a synthetic signal that is proportional to the instant electroactive coverage or by the signal recorded in a control experiment. In the latter, the change in current may result from film loss only or from film loss plus catalyst inactivation. We describe the different strategies for obtaining the control signal by analyzing various data recorded with adsorbed redox enzymes: nitrate reductase, NiFe hydrogenase, and FeFe hydrogenase. In each case we discuss the trustfulness and the benefit of the correction. This method also applies to experiments where electron transfer is mediated, rather than direct, providing the current is proportional to the time-dependent concentration of catalyst.
Fourmond V, Burlat B, Dementin S, Arnoux P, Sabaty M, Boiry S, Guigliarelli B, Bertrand P, Pignol D, Léger C
Bertrand P, Frangioni B, Dementin S, Sabaty M, Arnoux P, Guigliarelli B, Pignol D, Léger C
For redox enzymes, the technique called protein film voltammetry makes it possible to determine the entire profile of activity against driving force by having the enzyme exchanging directly electrons with the rotating-disc electrode onto which it is adsorbed. Both the potential location of the catalytic response and its detailed shape report on the sequence of catalytic events, electron transfers and chemical steps, but the models that have been used so far to decipher this signal lack generality. For example, it was often proposed that substrate binding to multiple redox states of the active site may explain that turnover is greater in a certain window of electrode potential, but no fully analytical treatment has been given. Here, we derive (i) the general current equation for the case of reversible substrate binding to any redox states of a two-electron active site (as exemplified by flavins and Mo cofactors), (ii) the quantitative conditions for an extremum in activity to occur, and (iii) the expressions from which the substrate-concentration dependence of the catalytic potential can be interpreted to learn about the kinetics of substrate binding and how this affects the reduction potential of the active site. Not only does slow substrate binding and release make the catalytic wave shape highly complex, but we also show that it can have important consequences which will escape detection in traditional experiments: the position of the wave (this is the driving force that is required to elicit catalysis) departs from the reduction potential of the active site even at the lowest substrate concentration, and this deviation may be large if substrate binding is irreversible. This occurs in the reductive half-cycle of periplasmic nitrate reductase where irreversibility lowers the driving force required to reduce the active site under turnover conditions and favors intramolecular electron transfer from the proximal [4Fe4S]+ cluster to the active site MoV.