EPR and ENDOR studies of Fe(II) hemoproteins reduced and oxidized at 77 K

Roman Davydov, Brian M. Hoffman

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20 Scopus citations


γ-irradiation of frozen solutions of Fe(II) hemoproteins at 77 K generates both electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) active singly reduced and oxidized heme centers trapped in the conformation of the Fe(II) precursors. The reduction products of pentacoordinate (S = 2) Fe(II) globins, peroxidases and cytochrome P450cam show EPR and electron-nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) spectra characteristic of (3d7) Fe(I) species. In addition, cryoreduced Fe(II) α-chains of hemoglobin and myoglobin exhibit an S = 3/2 spin state produced by antiferromagnetic coupling between a porphyrin anion radical and pentacoordinate (S = 2) Fe(II). The spectra of cryoreduced forms of Fe(II) hemoglobin α-chains and deoxymyoglobin reveal that the Fe(II) precursors adopt multiple conformational substates. Reduction of hexacoordinate Fe(II) cytochrome c and cytochrome b5 as well as carboxy complexes of deoxyglobins produces only Fe(II) porphyrin π-anion radical species. The low-valent hemoprotein intermediates produced by cryoreduction convert to the Fe(II) states at T > 200 K. Cryogenerated Fe(III) cytochrome c and cytochrome b5 have spectra similar to these for the resting Fe(III) states, whereas the spectra of the products of cryooxidation of pentacoordinate Fe(II) globins and peroxidases are different. Cryooxidation of CO-Fe(II) globins generates Fe(III) hemes with quantum-mechanically admixed S = 3/2, 5/2 ground states. The trapped Fe(III) species relax to the equilibrium ferric states upon annealing at T > 190 K. Both cryooxidized and reduced centers provide very sensitive EPR/ENDOR structure probes of the EPR-silent Fe(II) state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-369
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Cryooxidation
  • Cryoreduction
  • Electron paramagnetic resonance
  • Electron-nuclear double resonance
  • Heme proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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