The position 68(E11) side chain in myoglobin regulates ligand capture, bond formation with heme iron, and internal movement into the xenon cavities.
After photodissociation, ligand rebinding to myoglobin exhibits complex kinetic patterns associated with multiple first-order geminate recombination processes occurring within the protein and a simpler bimolecular phase representing second-order ligand rebinding from the solvent. A smooth transition from cryogenic-like to solution phase properties can be obtained by using a combination of sol-gel encapsulation, addition of glycerol as a bathing medium, and temperature tuning (-15 --> 65 degrees C). This approach was applied to a series of double mutants, myoglobin CO (H64L/V68X, where X = Ala, Val, Leu, Asn, and Phe), which were designed to examine the contributions of the position 68(E11) side chain to the appearance and disappearance of internal rebinding phases in the absence of steric and polar interactions with the distal histidine. Based on the effects of viscosity, temperature, and the stereochemistry of the E11 side chain, the three major phases, B --> A, C --> A, and D --> A, can be assigned, respectively, to ligand rebinding from the following: (i) the distal heme pocket, (ii) the xenon cavities prior to large amplitude side chain conformational relaxation, and (iii) the xenon cavities after significant conformational relaxation of the position 68(E11) side chain. The relative amplitudes of the B --> A and C --> A phases depend markedly on the size and shape of the E11 side chain, which regulates sterically both ligand return to the heme iron atom and ligand migration to the xenon cavities. The internal xenon cavities provide a transient docking site that allows side chain relaxations and the entry of water into the vacated distal pocket, which in turn slows ligand recombination markedly. (+info
Structural characterization of apomyoglobin self-associated species in aqueous buffer and urea solution.
The biophysical characterization of nonfunctional protein aggregates at physiologically relevant temperatures is much needed to gain deeper insights into the kinetic and thermodynamic relationships between protein folding and misfolding. Dynamic and static laser light scattering have been employed for the detection and detailed characterization of apomyoglobin (apoMb) soluble aggregates populated at room temperature upon dissolving the purified protein in buffer at pH 6.0, both in the presence and absence of high concentrations of urea. Unlike the beta-sheet self-associated aggregates previously reported for this protein at high temperatures, the soluble aggregates detected here have either alpha-helical or random coil secondary structure, depending on solvent and solution conditions. Hydrodynamic diameters range from 80 to 130 nm, with semiflexible chain-like morphology. The combined use of low pH and high urea concentration leads to structural unfolding and complete elimination of the large aggregates. Even upon starting from this virtually monomeric unfolded state, however, protein refolding leads to the formation of severely self-associated species with native-like secondary structure. Under these conditions, kinetic apoMb refolding proceeds via two parallel routes: one leading to native monomer, and the other leading to a misfolded and heavily self-associated state bearing native-like secondary structure. (+info
Water and ligand entry in myoglobin: assessing the speed and extent of heme pocket hydration after CO photodissociation.
A previously undescribed spectrokinetic assay for the entry of water into the distal heme pocket of wild-type and mutant myoglobins is presented. Nanosecond photolysis difference spectra were measured in the visible bands of sperm whale myoglobin as a function of distal pocket mutation and temperature. A small blue shift in the 560-nm deoxy absorption peak marked water entry several hundred nanoseconds after CO photodissociation. The observed rate suggests that water entry is rate-limited by the escape of internal dissociated CO. The heme pocket hydration and geminate recombination yields were found to be the primary factors controlling the overall bimolecular association rate constants for CO binding to the mutants studied. The kinetic analysis provides estimates of 84%, 60%, 40%, 0%, and 99% for the steady-state hydrations of wild-type, H64Q, H64A, H64L, and V68F deoxymyoglobin, respectively. The second-order rate constants for CO and H(2)O entry into the empty distal pocket of myoglobin are markedly different, 8 x 10(7) and 2 x 10(5) M(-1).s(-1), respectively, suggesting that hydrophobic partitioning of the apolar gas from the aqueous phase into the relatively apolar protein interior lowers the free energy barrier for CO entry. (+info
Pressure denaturation of apomyoglobin: a molecular dynamics simulation study.
The effect of pressure on the structure and mobility of Sperm Wale Apomyoglobin was studied by Molecular Dynamics computer simulation at 1 bar and 3 kbar (1 atm=1.01325 bar=101.325 kPa). The results are in good agreement with the available experimental data, allowing further analysis of other features of the effect of pressure on the protein solution. From the analysis of Secondary Structures (SS) along the trajectories it is observed that alpha-helixes are favoured under pressure at the expense of bends, turns and 3-helixes. The studies of mobility show that although the general mobility is restricted under pressure this is not true for some particular residues. The studies of tertiary structure show important conformational changes. The evolution of the Solvent Accessed Surface (SAS) with pressure shows a notorious increase due almost completely to a biased raise in the hydrophobic area exposed, which consequently shows that the hydrophobic interaction is considerably weaker under high hydrostatic pressure conditions. (+info
Sulfide-binding hemoglobins: Effects of mutations on active-site flexibility.
The dynamics of Hemoglobin I (HbI) from the clam Lucina pectinata, from wild-type sperm whale (SW) myoglobin, and from the L29F/H64Q/V68F triple mutant of SW, both unligated and bound to hydrogen sulfide (H2S), have been studied in molecular dynamics simulations. Features that account for differences in H2S affinity among the three have been examined. Our results verify the existence of an unusual heme rocking motion in unligated HbI that can promote the entrance of large ligands such as H2S. The FQF-mutant partially reproduces the amplitude and relative orientation of the motion of HbI's heme group. Therefore, besides introducing favorable electrostatic interactions with H2S, the three mutations in the distal pocket change the dynamic properties of the heme group. The active-site residues Gln-64(E7), Phe-43(CD1), and His-93(F8) are also shown to be more flexible in unligated HbI than in FQF-mutant and SW. Further contributions to H2S affinity come from differences in hydrogen bonding between the heme propionate groups and nearby amino acid residues. (+info
The role of hydrophobic interactions in initiation and propagation of protein folding.
Globular proteins fold by minimizing the nonpolar surface that is exposed to water, while simultaneously providing hydrogen-bonding interactions for buried backbone groups, usually in the form of secondary structures such as alpha-helices, beta-sheets, and tight turns. A primary thermodynamic driving force for the formation of globular structure is thus the sequestration of nonpolar groups, but the correlation between the parts of proteins that are observed to fold first (termed folding initiation sites) and the "hydrophobicity" (as customarily defined) of the amino acids in these regions has been quite weak. It has previously been noted that many amino acid side chains contain considerable nonpolar sections, even if they also contain polar or charged groups. For example, a lysine side chain contains four methylenes, which may undergo hydrophobic interactions if the charged epsilon-NH(3)(+) group is salt-bridged or hydrogen-bonded. Folding initiation sites might therefore contain not only accepted "hydrophobic" amino acids, but also larger charged side chains. Recent experiments on the folding of mutant apomyoglobins provides corroboration for models based on the hypothesis that folding initiation sites arise from hydrophobic interactions. A near-perfect correlation was observed between the areas of the molecule that are present in the burst-phase kinetic intermediate and both the free energy of formation of hydrophobic initiation sites and the parameter "average area buried upon folding," which pinpoints large side chains, even those containing charged or polar portions. These results provide a putative mechanism for the control of protein-folding initiation and growth by polar/nonpolar sequence propensity alone. (+info
Proximal influences in two-on-two globins: effect of the Ala69Ser replacement on Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 hemoglobin.
The cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 (S6803) expresses a two-on-two globin in which His46 (distal side) and His70 (proximal) function as heme iron axial ligands. His46 can be displaced by O2, CO, and CN-, among others, whereas His70 is not labile under native conditions. The residue preceding the proximal histidine has been implicated in controlling globin axial ligand reactivity; the details of the mechanism, however, are not well understood, and little information exists for bis-histidyl hexacoordinate proteins. In many vertebrate hemoglobins and in the Synechocystis protein, the position is occupied by an alanine, whereas, in myoglobins, it is a serine involved in an intricate hydrogen-bond network. We examined the role of Ala69 in S6803 hemoglobin through the effects of an Ala --> Ser replacement. The substitution resulted in minor structural perturbations, but the response of the holoprotein to temperature-, urea-, and acid-induced denaturation was measurably affected. Enhanced three-state behavior was manifested in the decoupling of heme binding and secondary-structure formation. Urea-gradient gel experiments revealed that the stability of the apoprotein was unchanged by the replacement and that a slight alteration of the folding kinetics occurred in the holoproteins. Cyanide-binding experiments were performed to assess trans effects. The apparent rate constant for association decreased 2-fold upon Ala69Ser replacement. This deceleration was attributed to a change in the lifetime of a state containing a decoordinated His46. The results demonstrated that, as in vertebrate globins and leghemoglobin, proximal influences operate to determine fundamental dynamic and thermodynamic properties of the protein. (+info
Theoretical characterization of carbon monoxide vibrational spectrum in sperm whale myoglobin distal pocket.
In this article we use the perturbed matrix method and an extended molecular dynamics sampling of the carbon monoxide (CO) in the myoglobin distal pocket to characterize the CO vibrational spectrum and hence to relate its spectroscopic features with the atomic-molecular behavior. Results show the accuracy of the method employed and confirm the assignment of the spectroscopic B1 and B2 states proposed by Lim et al. (+info