Interaction of T1+and Cs+with the [Fe3S4] Cluster of Pyrococcus furiosus Ferredoxin: Investigation by Resonance Raman, MCD, EPR, and ENDOR Spectroscopy

Weiguang Fu, Michael G. Finnegan, Richard C. Conover, Joshua Telser, Brian M. Hoffman, Eugene T. Smith, Michael W.W. Adams, Michael K. Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus contains a novel 4Fe ferredoxin in which one Fe ion lacks cysteinyl coordination. This unique Fe ion can be easily removed to yield protein containing a [Fe3S4]0cluster. Under reducing conditions, this cluster can bind exogenous metal dications, M2+(e.g., Ni2+and Zn2+), to yield [MFe3S4]+clusters. In this work, we have investigated the affinity of the [Fe3S4]0,+cluster in P. furiosus ferredoxin for the monocations Cs+and T1+in the absence of reducing agents. Both of these metal ions are large and polarizable, but they differ greatly in their propensity for ionic versus covalent interactions. The structural, electronic, and magnetic properties of the [Fe3S4]0,+cluster in P. furiosus ferredoxin in the presence of excess Cs+and T1+were studied by EPR, magnetic circular dichroism, resonance Raman, and electron-nuclear double resonance spectroscopy. Magnetic circular dichroism and resonance Raman studies indicate that Tl+but not Cs+is incorporated into the reduced [Fe3S4]0cluster with retention of the S = 2 (D< 0) ground state to yield a [T1Fe3S4]+cluster. EPR studies provide evidence for Tl+incorporation into the oxidized S = 1/2 [Fe3S4]+cluster as well. The native protein exhibits a broad EPR signal as a result of the distribution of g-values from multiple cluster conformations. In the presence of excess T1+, a much narrower axial EPR signal is observed, indicating a single cluster conformation. Furthermore, 203,205T1 hyperfine coupling was observed at both 9 and 35 GHz. The large coupling constant, AT1≈ 370 MHz (13 mT), indicates a covalent interaction associated with the formation of [TlFe3S4]2+. In contrast, the presence of excess Cs+does not change the EPR spectrum, nor is 133Cs hyperfine coupling observed, indicating a failure to incorporate this ion. However, 133Cs electron-nuclear double resonance signals were observed with hyperfine and quadrupole couplings of ACs≈ 1.2 MHz, Pz≈ 0.7 MHz. This, in conjunction with resonance Raman data, suggests that a Cs+ion binds to a specific residue near the oxidized cluster. This is the first report of 133Cs ENDOR in a biological system and suggests that this readily available nucleus could provide a valuable probe for Na+or K+binding in paramagnetic biomolecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5722-5729
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jun 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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