The final step in the biosynthesis of the antibiotic chloramphenicol is the oxidation of an aryl-amine substrate to an aryl-nitro product catalyzed by the N-oxygenase CmlI in three two-electron steps. The CmlI active site contains a diiron cluster ligated by three histidine and four glutamate residues and activates dioxygen to perform its role in the biosynthetic pathway. It was previously shown that the active oxidant used by CmlI to facilitate this chemistry is a peroxo-diferric intermediate (CmlIP). Spectroscopic characterization demonstrated that the peroxo binding geometry of CmlIP is not consistent with the μ-1,2 mode commonly observed in nonheme diiron systems. Its geometry was tentatively assigned as μ-ν2:ν1 based on comparison with resonance Raman (rR) features of mixed-metal model complexes in the absence of appropriate diiron models. Here, X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and rR studies have been used to establish a refined structure for the diferric cluster of CmlIP. The rR experiments carried out with isotopically labeled water identified the symmetric and asymmetric vibrations of an Fe-O-Fe unit in the active site at 485 and 780 cm-1, respectively, which was confirmed by the 1.83 Å Fe-O bond observed by XAS. In addition, a unique Fe···O scatterer at 2.82 Å observed from XAS analysis is assigned as arising from the distal O atom of a μ-1,1-peroxo ligand that is bound symmetrically between the irons. The (μ-oxo)(μ-1,1-peroxo)diferric core structure associated with CmlIP is unprecedented among diiron cluster-containing enzymes and corresponding biomimetic complexes. Importantly, it allows the peroxo-diferric intermediate to be ambiphilic, acting as an electrophilic oxidant in the initial N-hydroxylation of an arylamine and then becoming a nucleophilic oxidant in the final oxidation of an aryl-nitroso intermediate to the aryl-nitro product.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge financial support of this work from grants NIH GM118030 (to J.D.L.), NIH GM38767 (to L.Q.), and graduate traineeship NIH GM08700 (to A.J.K.). XAS data were collected on Beamlines 7-3 and 9-3 at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. SLAC is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515. Use of Beamlines 7-3 and 9-3 is supported by the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research and the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences (including P41GM103393). We thank Brent Rivard for assistance with protein growth and helpful discussions.
© 2017 American Chemical Society.