Curtis A. Gibbs, Nikta Ghazi, Jody Tao, Jeffrey J. Warren

An Investigation of the Influence of Tyrosine Local Interactions on Electron Hopping in a Model Protein

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmaceutical Science

Multi-step electron transfer reactions are important to the function of many cellular systems. The ways in which such systems have evolved to direct electrons along specific pathways are largely understood, but less so are the ways in which the reduction–oxidation potentials of individual redox sites are controlled. We prepared a series of three new artificial variants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa azurin where a tyrosine (Tyr109) is situated between the native Cu ion and a Ru(II) photosensitizer tethered to a histidine (His107). Arginine, glutamine, or methionine were introduced as position 122, which is near to Tyr109. We investigated the rate of CuI oxidation by a flash-quench generated Ru(III) oxidant over pH values from 5 to 9. While the identity of the residue at position 122 affects some of the physical properties of Tyr109, the rates of CuI oxidation are only weakly dependent on the identity of the residue at 122. The results highlight that more work is still needed to understand how non-covalent interactions of redox active groups are affected in redox proteins.

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