Geometric and electronic structures of the His-Fe(IV)=O and His-Fe(IV)-Tyr hemes of MauG

Lyndal M.R. Jensen, Yergalem T. Meharenna, Victor L. Davidson, Thomas L. Poulos, Britt Hedman, Carrie M. Wilmot, Ritimukta Sarangi

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Biosynthesis of the tryptophan tryptophylquinone (TTQ) cofactor activates the enzyme methylamine dehydrogenase. The diheme enzyme MauG catalyzes O-atom insertion and cross-linking of two Trp residues to complete TTQ synthesis. Solution optical and Mössbauer spectroscopic studies have indicated that the reactive form of MauG during turnover is an unusual bisFe(IV) intermediate, which has been formulated as a His-ligated ferryl heme [Fe(IV)=O] (heme A), and an Fe(IV) heme with an atypical His/Tyr ligation (heme B). In this study, Fe K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy and extended X-ray absorption fine structure studies have been combined with density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent DFT methods to solve the geometric and electronic structures of each heme site in the MauG bisFe(IV) redox state. The ferryl heme site (heme A) is compared with the well-characterized compound I intermediate of cytochrome c peroxidase. Heme B is unprecedented in biology, and is shown to have a six-coordinate, S = 1 environment, with a short (1.85-Å) Fe-O(Tyr) bond. Experimentally calibrated DFT calculations are used to reveal a strong covalent interaction between the Fe and the O(Tyr) ligand of heme B in the high-valence form. A large change in the Fe-O(Tyr) bond distance on going from Fe(II) (2.02 Å) to Fe(III) (1.89 Å) to Fe(IV) (1.85 Å) signifies increasing localization of spin density on the tyrosinate ligand upon sequential oxidation of heme B to Fe(IV). As such, O(Tyr) plays an active role in attaining and stabilizing the MauG bisFe(IV) redox state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1241-1255
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments Portions of this research were performed at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), a Directorate of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and an Office of Science User Facility operated for the US Department of Energy Office of Science by Stanford University. The SSRL Structural Molecular Biology Program is supported by the Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research, and by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (including P41GM103393), and the National Center for Research Resources (P41RR001209). C.M.W., V.L.D., and T.L.P were supported by the National Institutes of Health grants GM66569, GM41574, and GM42614, respectively.


  • Density functional theory
  • Fe K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy
  • Heme
  • High-valence Fe
  • MauG


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