Activation of dioxygen by the carboxylate-bridged diiron(II) cluster in the R2 subunit of class I ribonucleotide reductase from Escherichia coli results in the one-electron oxidation of tyrosine 122 (Y122) to a stable radical (Y122•). A key step in this reaction is the rapid transfer of a single electron from a near-surface residue, tryptophan 48 (W48), to an adduct between O2 and diiron(II) cluster to generate a readily reducible cation radical (W48+•) and the formally Fe(IV)Fe(III) intermediate known as cluster X. Previous work showed that this electron injection step is blocked in the R2 variant with W48 replaced by phenylalanine [Krebs, C., Chen, S., Baldwin, J., Ley, B. A., Patel, U., Edmondson, D. E., Huynh, B. H., and Bollinger, J. M., Jr. (2000) J. Am. Chem. Soc. 122, 12207-12219]. In this study, we show that substitution of W48 with alanine similarly disables the electron transfer (ET) but also permits its chemical mediation by indole compounds. In the presence of an indole mediator, O 2 activation in the R2-W48A variant produces approximately 1 equiv of stable Y122• and more than 1 equiv of the normal (μ-oxo)-diiron(III) product. In the absence of a mediator, the variant protein generates primarily altered Fe(III) products and only one-fourth as much stable Y122• because, as previously reported for R2-W48F, most of the Y122• that is produced decays as a consequence of the inability of the protein to mediate reductive quenching of one of the two oxidizing equivalents of the initial diiron(II)-O2 complex. Mediation of ET is effective in W48A variants containing additional substitutions that also impact the reaction mechanism or outcome. In the reaction of R2-W48A/F208Y, the presence of mediator suppresses formation of the Y208-derived diiron(III)-catecholate product (which is predominant in R2-F208Y in the absence of reductants) in favor of Y122•. In the reaction of R2-W48A/D84E, the presence of mediator affects the outcome of decay of the peroxodiiron(III) intermediate known to accumulate in D84E variants, increasing the yield of Y122, by as much as 2.2-fold to a final value of 0.75 equiv and suppressing formation of a 490 nm absorbing product that results from decay of the two-electron oxidized intermediate in the absence of a functional ET apparatus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes