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Role of heme propionates in myoglobin electron transfer Lim, Anthony Richard


Myoglobin (Mb) is a well characterized hemeprotein found in skeletal muscle. The dimethylester heme-substituted derivative of equine Mb (DME-Mb) was prepared to evaluate the involvement of the heme propionate groups in the electron transfer reactions of Mb. To achieve this goal, an efficient procedure to reconstitute and purify DME-Mb in high yield was developed. The near UV-visible absorption spectra of DME-Mb in various states of ligation and oxidation did not change significantly relative to those of native Mb. The ¹H NMR spectra obtained for native metMb (heme Fe(III) oxidation state) and metDME-Mb showed differences in the electromagnetic environment of their respective heme groups. The reactivity of DME-Mb was different from that of native Mb. For example the water ligand of metDME-Mb (Fe-H₂O) has a lower pKa than that of native metMb as determined by spectroscopic pH titrations. The autoxidation rate of oxyDME-Mb (Fe(II)-O₂) is faster than that of native oxyMb. MetDME-Mb apparently has a binding affinity for ferricyanide not evident in native metMb. Compared to native Mb, DME-Mb has decreased susceptibility to the oxidant hydrogen peroxide. The oxidation-reduction equilibrium of DME-Mb has been studied under a variety of solution conditions. At standard conditions (pH 7, I=0.1 M and 25°C) the midpoint reduction potential (Em) of DME-Mb is 100.0(2) mV vs. SHE, which is 39 mV higher than the Em of native Mb. Analysis of the pH dependence of Em showed differences in the identity or pKa between titratable groups found in native and DME-Mb. The ionic strength dependence of Em showed a higher net positive charge estimate for DME-Mb than native Mb consistent with the nature of the chemical modification involved. The temperature dependence of Em showed that DME-Mb has a greater difference in stability between oxidation states than native Mb. The kinetics of metDME-Mb reduction by Fe(EDTA)²⁻were also studied under a variety of conditions. At standard conditions, metDME-Mb reacted with the reductant Fe(EDTA)²⁻ at a second order rate constant (k₁₂) two orders of magnitude greater than that of native metMb. After correcting for the differences in reduction potential between reactants, metDME-Mb still reacted at a significantly faster rate than native metMb, indicating differences in their reaction mechanisms. The pH, temperature and ionic strength dependences of k₁₂ for DME-Mb and Fe(EDTA)²⁻ showed that DME-Mb had electrostatic and thermodynamic properties significantly different from that of native Mb. The functional differences between DME-Mb and native Mb can be attributed to the structural and electrostatics properties of the heme propionate groups. The interactions of these groups within the surrounding protein and the external environment are discussed with reference to the structure of Mb available from x-ray crystallographic studies. As a result, it is concluded that the heme propionate groups are involved in the structural stability, electron transfer specificity and reactivity of Mb.

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