Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Detectable States of Cytochrome P-450Cam

John D. Lipscomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


Cytochrome P-450cam is a low-spin Fe3+ hemoprotein (g = 2.45, 2.26, and 1.91) which is made 60% high spin (g = 7.85, 3.97, and 1.78) at 12 K by the addition of 1 mol of substrate per mol of enzyme. Low-temperature EPR spectra show that the low-spin fraction of substrate-bound P-450cam contains two magnetic species. The majority species has an unusual EPR spectrum (g = 2.42, 2.24, and 1.97) which cannot be simulated by using the range of crystal field parameters known for other heme proteins. The minority species has the same g values as substrate-free enzyme. Both low-spin species show Curie law temperature dependence below 50 K and have similar saturation behavior. Above 50 K the g = 2.42, 2.24, and 1.97 species rapidly loses signal intensity. The distribution of low-spin species is pH dependent (apparent pKa = 6.2) with the g = 2.42, 2.24, and 1.97 magnetic species favored at high pH. The substrate binding stoichiometry and the equilibria observed in the low-spin fraction suggest that there are not multiple protein forms of cytochrome P-450cam. Putidaredoxin and other effector molecules which specifically catalyze hydroxylation convert either the high-spin or the g = 2.42, 2.24, and 1.97 low-spin species to another new magnetic species (g = 2.47, 2.26, and 1.91). This species is only seen in the presence of substrate, and its stability reflects the catalytic potency of the effector molecule. The EPR and UV-visible spectra of cytochrome P-420 depend upon the manner in which the P-420 is generated. Incubation with acetone or reaction with N-ethylmaleimide or diethyl pyrocarbonate generates P-420 with different spectral characteristics. Through identification of active-site amino acids by chemical modification and comparison with porphyrin model complexes, the range of ligands likely to participate in each of the EPR detectable species is assigned. Mechanisms of interconversion of these species and their bearing on catalysis are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3590-3599
Number of pages10
Issue number15
StatePublished - Jul 1 1980


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