Investigating the Interactions Between the Thiolate Ligand and Mutants of a Conserved Tryptophan in the Proximal Heme Pocket of the Oxygenase Domains of Endothelial and Staphyloccus Aureus Nitric Oxide Synthases

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Driscoll, Danelle Rae
Nitric Oxide Synthase , Resonance Raman Spectroscopy , Aromatic Substitution , Heme-Ligand Interactions , Nitrite Assay
The electronegativity of thiolate ligation in the hemeprotein nitric oxide synthase (NOS) proteins has been identified as an influence on autoinhibition in this enzyme. The mutation of a conserved tryptophan residue, which hydrogen bonds to the coordinating thiolate ligand and therefore influences its electronegativity, to either phenylalanine or tyrosine has had various effects including heme loss and dimer disruption in the inducible isoforms, while hyperactivity occurs in the neuronal isoforms. I have performed the analogous mutations in W180 of eNOSoxy, the endothelial isoform. UV/visible and resonance Raman spectroscopy have demonstrated that the mutants experienced increased basicity of the thiolate due to loss of the hydrogen bond between the mutated residue in the absence of the cofactor (6R)5,6,7,8-tetrahydrobiopterin (H4B). The mutants also displayed relative rates of NO2- production that were comparable to the nNOSoxy mutants, which is consistent with the nNOSoxy results. The presence of H4B alters porphyrin planarity, which enabled hydrogen bonding to occur in W180Y, thus restoring thiolate basicity to that of wild-type eNOSoxy. Reduced overall activities by the proteins suggest that H4B stabilizes the heme. The analogous W56 mutants of saNOS, a NOS oxygenase domain-like protein from Staphylococcus aureus (saNOS), have been previously characterized using resonance Raman spectroscopy. These mutants also exhibit increased thiolate electronegativity over wild-type. As the homodimers had already been investigated, saNOS was an ideal system in which to explore heterodimers. Heterodimers were generated through the co-expression of one wild-type and one mutated subunit, enabling the examination of each subunit individually through resonance Raman spectroscopy. The subunits of the resulting proteins were shown to have heme environments that resembled those of their corresponding homodimers. The activity of saNOS did not vary significantly for the various W56 mutants, suggesting that saNOS catalysis may be unaffected by thiolate electronegativity.
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