Spectroscopic Studies of the Copper Sites in Wild-Type Pseudomonas stutzeri N2O Reductase and in an Inactive Protein Isolated from a Mutant Deficient in Copper-Site Biosynthesis

David M. Dooley*, Michele A. McGuirl, Amy C. Rosenzweig, Judith A. Landin, Robert A. Scott, Walter G. Zumft, Frank Devlin, Philip J. Stephens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Pseudomonas stutzeri N2O reductase is a complex multicopper enzyme (approximately 8 Cu ions/protein molecule). Two copper sites appear to be closely similar to the CuA-type site in cytochrome c oxidase, but relatively little is known about the other copper sites in N2O reductase. In this paper circular dichroism, magnetic circular dichroism, and X-ray absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy have been used to further characterize the copper sites in native N2O reductase and in a “mutant” protein isolated from a strain deficient in the biosynthesis of the N2O reductase copper sites that contains only 2 copper ions/protein molecule. Both magnetic circular dichroism and X-ray absorption (Cu K-edge and EXAFS) data are consistent with the presence of (on average) one CuA-type site per protein in the mutant N2O reductase. Comparisons of the near-infrared circular dichroism spectra of the oxidized native and “mutant” N2O reductases suggest that transitions at 7200 and 9500 cm-1 in the native enzyme are associated with copper sites other than the CuA-type sites. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first electronic spectral features that can be attributed to non-CuA-type sites in N2O reductase. The near-infrared bands are significantly less intense in preparations of N2O reductase that display lower specific activities. Several electronic transitions are resolved in the circular and magnetic circular dichroism spectra of dithionite-reduced N2O reductase. Notably a near-infrared band is observed in the circular dichroism spectrum at 8200 cm-1. The data are plausibly attributed to a highly covalent [Cu(II)-S-(cys) ⃡ Cu(I)-S•(cys)] site in the reduced enzyme. Copper removal from N2O reductase enhances the tryptophan fluorescence intensity about 3-fold; most of the quenching appears to be associated with occupation of the CuA-type sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3006-3011
Number of pages6
JournalInorganic chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - Jul 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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