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Cordas, C. M., AS Pereira, C. E. Martins, C. G. Timoteo, I. Moura, JJG Moura, and P. Tavares. "Nitric oxide reductase: Direct electrochemistry and electrocatalytic activity." Chembiochem. 7 (2006): 1878-1881. AbstractWebsite
Cabrito, I., AS Pereira, P. Tavares, S. Besson, C. Brondino, B. Hoffman, K. Brown, M. Tegoni, C. Cambillau, JJG Moura, and I. Moura. "Nitrous oxide reductase (N2OR) from Pseudomonas nautica 617." Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 86 (2001): 165. AbstractWebsite
Pauleta, S. R., A. G. Duarte, M. S. Carepo, AS Pereira, P. Tavares, I. Moura, and JJG Moura. "NMR assignment of the apo-form of a Desulfovibrio gigas protein containing a novel Mo-Cu cluster." Biomolecular Nmr Assignments. 1 (2007): 81-83. AbstractWebsite

We report the 98% assignment of the apo-form of an orange protein, containing a novel Mo-Cu cluster isolated from Desulfovibrio gigas. This protein presents a region where backbone amide protons exchange fast with bulk solvent becoming undetectable. These residues were assigned using C-13-detection experiments.

Brown, K., M. Tegoni, M. Prudencio, AS Pereira, S. Besson, J. J. Moura, I. Moura, and C. Cambillau. "A novel type of catalytic copper cluster in nitrous oxide reductase." Nature Structural Biology. 7 (2000): 191-195. AbstractWebsite

Nitrous oxide (N(2)O) is a greenhouse gas, the third most significant contributor to global warming. As a key process for N(2)O elimination from the biosphere, N(2)O reductases catalyze the two-electron reduction of N(2)O to N(2). These 2 x 65 kDa copper enzymes are thought to contain a CuA electron entry site, similar to that of cytochrome c oxidase, and a CuZ catalytic center. The copper anomalous signal was used to solve the crystal structure of N(2)O reductase from Pseudomonas nautica by multiwavelength anomalous dispersion, to a resolution of 2.4 Angstrom. The structure reveals that the CuZ center belongs to a new type of metal cluster, in which four copper ions are liganded by seven histidine residues. N(2)O binds to this center via a single copper ion. The remaining copper ions might act as an electron reservoir, assuring a fast electron transfer and avoiding the formation of dead-end products.

Pauleta, Sr., F. Guerlesquin, C. F. Goodhew, B. Devreese, J. VanBeeumen, AS Pereira, I. Moura, and G. W. Pettigrew. "Paracoccus pantotrophus pseudoazurin is an electron donor to cytochrome c peroxidase." Biochemistry. 43 (2004): 11214-11225. AbstractWebsite

The gene for pseudoazurin was isolated from Paracoccus pantotrophus LMD 52.44 and expressed in a heterologous system with a yield of 54.3 mg of pure protein per liter of culture. The gene and protein were shown to be identical to those from P. pantotrophus LMD 82.5. The extinction coefficient of the protein was re-evaluated and was found to be 3.00 mM(-1) cm(-1) at 590 nm. It was confirmed that the oxidized protein is in a weak monomer/dimer equilibrium that is ionic- strength-dependent. The pseudoazurin was shown to be a highly active electron donor to cytochrome c peroxidase, and activity showed an ionic strength dependence consistent with an electrostatic interaction. The pseudoazurin has a very large dipole moment, the vector of which is positioned at the putative electron-transfer site, His81, and is conserved in this position across a wide range of blue copper proteins. Binding of the peroxidase to pseudoazurin causes perturbation of a set of NMR resonances associated with residues on the His81 face, including a ring of lysine residues. These lysines are associated with acidic residues just back from the rim, the resonances of which are also affected by binding to the peroxidase. We propose that these acidic residues moderate the electrostatic influence of the lysines and so ensure that specific charge interactions do not form across the interface with the peroxidase.

Ferreira, I. M. P. L. V., O. Pinho, M. V. Mota, P. Tavares, A. Pereira, M. P. Goncalves, D. Torres, C. Rocha, and J. A. Teixeira. "Preparation of ingredients containing an ACE-inhibitory peptide by tryptic hydrolysis of whey protein concentrates." International Dairy Journal. 17 (2007): 481-487. AbstractWebsite

This study describes the characterisation of whey protein hydrolysates obtained from tryptic hydrolysis to assess their application as ingredients with angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitory action. The levels of a-lactalbumin (alpha-la) and P-lactoglobulin (beta-lg) remaining after hydrolysis were quantified. Peptides were separated by RP-HPLC, and Ala-Leu-Pro-Met-His-Ile-Arg (ALPMHIR), the most potent beta-lg-derived ACE-inhibitory peptide was monitored. A correlation curve was established for the production of this peptide as a function of hydrolysis time. Heat-induced gelation of hydrolysates was studied by small-deformation rheology. The gelation times and the strength of the final gels were highly dependent on the degree of hydrolysis. Smaller peptides liberated by hydrolysis contributed to the inability of whey protein hydrolysates to gel. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Almendra, MJ, CD Brondino, O. Gavel, AS Pereira, P. Tavares, S. Bursakov, R. Duarte, J. CALDEIRA, JJG Moura, and I. Moura. "Purification and characterization of a tungsten-containing formate dehydrogenase from Desulfovibrio gigas." Biochemistry. 38 (1999): 16366-16372. AbstractWebsite

An air-stable formate dehydrogenase (FDH), an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of formate to carbon dioxide, was purified from the sulfate reducing organism Desulfovibrio gigas (D. gigas) NCIB 9332. D. gigas FDH is a heterodimeric protein [alpha (92 kDa) and beta (29 kDa) subunits] and contains 7 +/- 1 Fe/protein and 0.9 +/- 0.1 W/protein, Selenium was not detected. The UV/visible absorption spectrum of D, gigas FDH is typical of an iron-sulfur protein. Analysis of pterin nucleotides yielded a content of 1.3 +/- 0.1 guanine monophosphate/mol of enzyme, which suggests a tungsten coordination with two molybdopterin guanine dinucleotide cofactors. Both Mossbauer spectroscopy performed on D. gigas FDH grown in a medium enriched with Fe-57 and EPR studies performed in the native and fully reduced state of the protein confirmed the presence of two [4Fe-4S] clusters. Variable-temperature EPR studies showed the presence of two signals compatible with an atom in a d(1) configuration albeit with an unusual relaxation behavior as compared to the one generally observed for W(V) ions.

Prudencio, M., AS Pereira, P. Tavares, S. Besson, I. Cabrito, K. Brown, B. Samyn, B. Devreese, J. VanBeeumen, F. Rusnak, G. Fauque, JJG Moura, M. Tegoni, C. Cambillau, and I. Moura. "Purification, characterization, and preliminary crystallographic study of copper-containing nitrous oxide reductase from Pseudomonas nautica 617." Biochemistry. 39 (2000): 3899-3907. AbstractWebsite

The aerobic purification of Pseudomonas nautica 617 nitrous oxide reductase yielded two forms of the enzyme exhibiting different chromatographic behaviors. The protein contains six copper atoms per monomer, arranged in two centers named CUA and Cut. Cut could be neither oxidized nor further reduced under our experimental conditions, and exhibits a 4-line EPR spectrum (g(x)= 2.015, A(x) = 1.5 mT, g(y) = 2.071, A(y) = 2 mT, g(z) = 2.138, A(z) = 7 mT) and a strong absorption at similar to 640 nm. Cu-A can be stabilized in a reduced EPR-silent state and in an oxidized state with a typical 7-line EPR spectrum (g(x) g(y) = 2.021, A(x) = A(y) = 0 T, g(z) =0.178, A(z) = 4 mT) and absorption bands at 480, 540, and similar to 800 nm. The difference between the two purified forms of nitrous oxide reductase is interpreted as a difference in the oxidation state of the CuA center. In form A, CUA is predominantly oxidized (S = 1/2, Cu1.5+-Cu1.5+), while in form B it is mostly in the one-electron reduced state (S = 0, Cu1+-Cu1+). In both forms, Cu-Z remains reduced (S = 1/2). Complete crystallographic data at 2.4 Angstrom indicate that Cu-A is a binuclear site (similar to the site found in cytochrome c oxidase) and Cu-Z is a novel tetracopper cluster [Brown, K., et ai. (2000) Nat. Struct. Biol. (in press)]. The complete amino acid sequence of the enzyme was determined and comparisons made with sequences of other nitrous oxide reductases, emphasizing the coordination of the centers. A 10.3 kDa peptide copurified with both forms of nitrous oxide reductase shows strong homology with proteins of the heat-shock GroES chaperonin family.

Pereira, AS, P. Tavares, S. G. Lloyd, D. Danger, DE Edmondson, E. C. Theil, and BH HUYNH. "Rapid and parallel formation of Fe3+ multimers, including a trimer, during H-type subunit ferritin mineralization." Biochemistry. 36 (1997): 7917-7927. AbstractWebsite

Conversion of Fe ions in solution to the solid phase in ferritin concentrates iron required for cell function. The rate of the Fe phase transition in ferritin is tissue specific and reflects the differential expression of two classes of ferritin subunits (H and L). Early stages of mineralization were probed by rapid freeze-quench Mossbauer, at strong fields (up to 8 T), and EPR spectroscopy in an H-type subunit, recombinant frog ferritin; small numbers of Fe (36 moles/mol of protein) were used to increase Fe3+ in mineral precursor forms, At 25 ms, four Fe3+-oxy species (three Fe dimers and one Fe trimer) were identified, These Fe3+-oxy species were found to form at similar rates and decay subsequently to a distinctive superparamagentic species designated the ''young core.'' The rate of oxidation of Fe2+ (1026 s(-1)) corresponded well to the formation constant for the Fe3+- tyrosinate complex (920 s(-1)) observed previously [Waldo, G. S., & Theil, E. C. (1993) Biochemistry 32, 13261] and, coupled with EPR data, indicates that several or possibly all of the Fe3+-oxy species involve tyrosine. The results, combined with previous Mossbauer studies of Y30F human H-type ferritin which showed decreases in several Fe3+ intermediates and stabilization of Fe2+ [Bauminger, E. R., et al. (1993) Biochem, J. 296, 709], emphasize the involvement of tyrosyl residues in the mineralization of H-type ferritins. The subsequent decay of these multiple Fe3+-oxy species to the superparamagnetic mineral suggests that Fe3+ species in different environments may be translocated as intact units from the protein shell into the ferritin cavity where the conversion to a solid mineral occurs.

Baldwin, J., W. C. Voegtli, N. Khidekel, P. Moenne-Loccoz, C. Krebs, AS Pereira, B. A. Ley, BH HUYNH, T. M. Loehr, P. J. Riggs-Gelasco, A. C. Rosenzweig, and J. M. Bollinger. "Rational reprogramming of the R2 subunit of Escherichia coli ribonucleotide reductase into a self-hydroxylating monooxygenase." Journal of the American Chemical Society. 123 (2001): 7017-7030. AbstractWebsite

The outcome of O-2 activation at the diiron(II) cluster in the R2 subunit of Escherichia coli (class I) ribonucleotide reductase has been rationally altered from the normal tyrosyl radical (Y122)(1) production to self-hydroxylation of a phenylalanine side-chain by two amino acid substitutions that leave intact the (histidine)(2)-(carboxylate)(4) ligand set characteristic of the diiron-carboxylate family. Iron ligand Asp (D) 84 was replaced with Glu (E), the amino acid found in the cognate position of the structurally similar diiron-carboxylate protein, methane monooxygenase hydroxylase (MMOH). We previously showed that this substitution allows accumulation of a mu -1,2-peroxodiiron(III) intermediate,(2 3) which does not accumulate in the wild-type (wt) protein and is probably a structural homologue of intermediate P (H-peroxo) in O-2 activation by MMOH.(4) In addition, the near-surface residue Trp (W) 48 was replaced with Phe (F), blocking transfer of the "extra" electron that occurs in wt R2 during formation of the formally Fe(LII)Fe(IV) cluster X.(5-7) Decay of the mu1,2-peroxodiiron(III) complex in R2-W38F/D84E gives an initial brown product, which contains very little YI22(.) and which converts very slowly (t(1/2) similar to 7 h) upon incubation at 0 degreesC to an intensely purple final product. X-ray crystallographic analysis of the purple product indicates that F208 has undergone epsilon -hydroxylation and the resulting phenol has shifted significantly to become st ligand to Fe2 of the diiron cluster. Resonance Raman (RR) spectra of the purple product generated with O-16(2) or O-18(2) show appropriate isotopic sensitivity in bands assigned to O-phenyl and Fe-O-phenyl vibrational modes, confirming that the oxygen of the Fe(III)-phenolate species is derived from Or. Chemical analysis, experiments involving interception of the hydroxylating intermediate with exogenous reductant, and Mossbauer and EXAFS characterization of the brown and purple species establish that F208 hydroxylation occurs during decay of the peroxo complex and formation of the initial brown product. The slow transition to the purple Fe(LII)-phenolate species is ascribed to a ligand rearrangement in which mu -O2- is lost and the F208-derived phenolate coordinates. The reprogramming to F208 monooxygenase requires both amino acid substitutions, as very little epsilon -hydroxyphenylalanine is formed and pathways leading to Y122(.) formation predominate in both R2-D84E and R2-W48F(2-7).

Coufal, DE, P. Tavares, AS Pereira, BH Hyunh, and SJ Lippard. "Reactions of nitric oxide with the reduced non-heme diiron center of the soluble methane monooxygenase hydroxylase." Biochemistry. 38 (1999): 4504-4513. AbstractWebsite

The soluble methane monooxygenase system from Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath) catalyzes the oxidation of methane to methanol and water utilizing dioxygen at a non-heme, carboxylate-bridged diiron center housed in the hydroxylase (H) component. To probe the nature of the reductive activation of dioxygen in this system, reactions of an analogous molecule, nitric oxide, with the diiron(II) form of the enzyme (H-red) Were investigated by both continuous and discontinuous kinetics methodologies using optical, EPR, and Mossbauer spectroscopy. Reaction of NO with H-red affords a dinitrosyl species, designated H-dinitrosyl, with optical spectra (lambda(max) = 450 and 620 nm) and Mossbauer parameters (delta = 0.72 mm/s, Delta E-Q = 1.55 mm/s) similar to those of synthetic dinitrosyl analogues and of the dinitrosyl adduct of the reduced ribonucleotide reductase R2 (RNR-R2) protein. The H-dinitrosyl species models features of the H-peroxo intermediate formed in the analogous dioxygen reaction. In the presence of protein B, H-dinitrosyl builds up with approximately the same rate constant as H-peroxo (similar to 26 s(-1)) at 4 degrees C. In the absence of protein B, the kinetics of H-dinitrosyl formation were best fit with a biphasic A –> B –> C model, indicating the presence of an intermediate species between H-red and H-dinitrosyl. This result contrasts with the reaction of H-red with dioxygen, in which the H-peroxo intermediate forms in measurable quantities only in the presence of protein B. These findings suggest that protein B may alter the positioning but not the availability of coordination sites on iron for exogenous ligand binding and reactivity.

Wengenack, NL, H. Lopes, MJ Kennedy, P. Tavares, AS Pereira, I. Moura, JJG Moura, and F. Rusnak. "Redox potential measurements of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis heme protein KatG and the isoniazid-resistant enzyme KatG(S315T): Insights into isoniazid activation." Biochemistry. 39 (2000): 11508-11513. AbstractWebsite

Mycobacterium tuberculosis KatG is a multifunctional heme enzyme responsible for activation of the antibiotic isoniazid. A KatG(S315T) point mutation is found in >50% of isoniazid-resistant clinical isolates. Since isoniazid activation is thought to involve an oxidation reaction, the redox potential of KatG was determined using cyclic voltammetry, square wave voltammetry, and spectroelectrochemical titrations. Isoniazid activation may proceed via a cytochrome P450-like mechanism. Therefore, the possibility that substrate binding by KatG leads to an increase in the heme redox potential and the possibility that KatG(S315T) confers isoniazid resistance by altering the redox potential were examined. Effects of the heme spin state on the reduction potentials of KatG and KatG(S315T) were also determined. Assessment of the Fe3+/Fe2+ couple gave a midpoint potential of ca. -50 mV for both KatG and KatG(S315T). In contrast to cytochrome P450s, addition of substrate had no significant effect on either the KatG or KatG(S315T) redox potential. Conversion of the heme to a low-spin configuration resulted in a -150 to -200 mV shift of the KatG and KatG(S315T) redox potentials. These results suggest that isoniazid resistance conferred by KatG(S315T) is not mediated through changes in the heme redox potential. The redox potentials of isoniazid were also determined using cyclic and square wave voltammetry, and the results provide evidence that the ferric KatG and KatG(S315T) midpoint potentials are too low to promote isoniazid oxidation without formation of a high-valent enzyme intermediate such as compounds I and IT or oxyferrous KatG.

Wengenack, N., H. Lopes, M. Kennedy, P. Tavares, AS Pereira, I. Moura, JJG Moura, and F. Rusnak. "Redox potential of the heme protein KatG from Mycobacterium tuberculosis." Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 74 (1999): 336. AbstractWebsite
Ferreira, I. M. P. L. V., O. Pinho, D. Monteiro, S. Faria, S. Cruz, A. Perreira, A. C. Roque, and P. Tavares. "Short communication: Effect of kefir grains on proteolysis of major milk proteins." Journal of Dairy Science. 93 (2010): 27-31. AbstractWebsite

The effect of kefir grains on the proteolysis of major milk proteins in milk kefir and in a culture of kefir grains in pasteurized cheese whey was followed by reverse phase-HPLC analysis. The reduction of kappa-, alpha-, and beta-caseins (CN), alpha-lactalbumin (alpha-LA), and beta-lactoglobulin (beta-LG) contents during 48 and 90 h of incubation of pasteurized milk (100 mL) and respective cheese whey with kefir grains (6 and 12 g) at 20 degrees C was monitored. Significant proteolysis of alpha-LA and kappa-, alpha-, and beta-caseins was observed. The effect of kefir amount (6 and 12 g/100 mL) was significant for alpha-LA and alpha- and beta-CN. alpha-Lactalbumin and beta-CN were more easily hydrolyzed than alpha-CN. No significant reduction was observed with respect to beta-LG concentration for 6 and 12 g of kefir in 100 mL of milk over 48 h, indicating that no significant proteolysis was carried out. Similar results were observed when the experiment was conducted over 90 h. Regarding the cheese whey kefir samples, similar behavior was observed for the proteolysis of alpha-LA and beta-LG: alpha-LA was hydrolyzed between 60 and 90% after 12 h (for 6 and 12 g of kefir) and no significant beta-LG proteolysis occurred. The proteolytic activity of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts in kefir community was evaluated. Kefir milk prepared under normal conditions contained peptides from proteolysis of alpha-LA and kappa-, alpha-, and beta-caseins. Hydrolysis is dependent on the kefir: milk ratio and incubation time. beta-Lactoglobulin is not hydrolyzed even when higher hydrolysis time is used. Kefir grains are not appropriate as adjunct cultures to increase beta-LG digestibility in whey-based or whey-containing foods.

Moura, I., AS Pereira, P. Tavares, and JJG Moura. "Simple and complex iron-sulfur proteins in sulfate reducing bacteria." Advances in Inorganic Chemistry, Vol 47. 47 (1999): 361-419. AbstractWebsite
Tavares, P., AS Pereira, C. Krebs, N. Ravi, JJG Moura, I. Moura, and BH HUYNH. "Spectroscopic characterization of a novel tetranuclear Fe cluster in an iron-sulfur protein isolated from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans." Biochemistry. 37 (1998): 2830-2842. AbstractWebsite

Mossbauer and EPR spectroscopies were used to characterize the Fe clusters in an Fe-S protein isolated from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans (ATCC 27774). This protein was previously thought to contain hexanuclear Fe clusters, but a recent X-ray crystallographic measurement on a similar protein isolated from Desulfovibrio vulgaris showed that the protein contains two tetranuclear clusters, a cubane-type [4Fe-4S] cluster and a mixed-ligand cluster of novel structure [Lindley et al. (1997) Abstract, Chemistry of Metals in Biological Systems, European Research Conference, Tomar, Portugal]. Three protein samples poised at different redox potentials (as-purified, 40 and 320 mV) were investigated. In all three samples, the [4Fe-4S] cluster was found to be present in the diamagnetic 2+ oxidation state and exhibited typical Mossbauer spectra. The novel-structure cluster was found to be redox active. In the 320-mV and as-purified samples, the cluster is at a redox equilibrium between its fully oxidized and one-electron reduced states. In the 40-mV sample, the cluster is in a two-electron reduced state. Distinct spectral components associated with the four Fe sites of cluster 2 in the three oxidation states were identified. The spectroscopic parameters obtained for the Fe sites reflect different ligand environments, making it possible to assign the spectral components to individual Fe sites. In the fully oxidized state, all four iron ions are high-spin ferric and antiferromagnetically coupled to form a diamagnetic S = 0 state. In the one-electron and two-electron reduced states, the reducing electrons were found to localize, consecutively, onto two Fe sites that are rich in oxygen/nitrogen ligands. Based on the X-ray structure and the Mossbauer parameters, attempts could be made to identify the reduced Fe sites. For the two-electron reduced cluster, EPR and Mossbauer data indicate that the cluster is paramagnetic with a nonzero interger spin. For the one-electron reduced cluster, the data suggest a half-integer spin of 9/2 Characteristic fine and hyperfine parameters for all four Fe sites were obtained. Structural implications and the nature of the spin-coupling interactions are discussed.

Pereira, AS, C. G. Timoteo, M. Guilherme, F. Folgosa, S. G. Naik, A. G. Duarte, BH HUYNH, and P. Tavares. "Spectroscopic Evidence for and Characterization of a Trinuclear Ferroxidase Center in Bacterial Ferritin from Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough." Journal of the American Chemical Society. 134 (2012): 10822-10832. AbstractWebsite

Ferritins are ubiquitous and can be found in practically all organisms that utilize Fe. They are composed of 24 subunits forming a hollow sphere with an inner cavity of similar to 80 angstrom in diameter. The main function of ferritin is to oxidize the cytotoxic Fe2+ ions and store the oxidized Fe in the inner cavity. It has been established that the initial step of rapid oxidation of Fe2+ (ferroxidation) by H-type ferritins, found in vertebrates, occurs at a diiron binding center, termed the ferroxidase center. In bacterial ferritins, however, X-ray crystallographic evidence and amino acid sequence analysis revealed a trinuclear Fe binding center comprising a binuclear Fe binding center (sites A and B), homologous to the ferroxidase center of H-type ferritin, and an adjacent mononuclear Fe binding site (site C). In an effort to obtain further evidence supporting the presence of a trinuclear Fe binding center in bacterial ferritins and to gain information on the states of the iron bound to the trinuclear center, bacterial ferritin from Desulfovibrio vulgaris (DvFtn) and its E130A variant was loaded with substoichiometric amounts of Fe2+, and the products were characterized by Mossbauer and EPR spectroscopy. Four distinct Fe species were identified: a paramagnetic diferrous species, a diamagnetic diferrous species, a mixed valence Fe2+Fe3+ species, and a mononuclear Fe2+ species. The latter three species were detected in the wild-type DvFtn, while the paramagnetic diferrous species was detected in the E130A variant. These observations can be rationally explained by the presence of a trinuclear Fe binding center, and the four Fe species can be properly assigned to the three Fe binding sites. Further, our spectroscopic data suggest that (1) the fully occupied trinuclear center supports an all ferrous state, (2) sites B and C are bridged by a mu-OH group forming a diiron subcenter within the trinuclear center, and (3) this subcenter can afford both a mixed valence Fe2+Fe3+ state and a diferrous state. Mechanistic insights provided by these new findings are discussed and a minimal mechanistic scheme involving O-O bond cleavage is proposed.

Jameson, G. N. L., W. Jin, C. Krebs, A. S. Perreira, P. Tavares, X. F. Liu, E. C. Theil, and BH HUYNH. "Stoichiometric production of hydrogen peroxide and parallel formation of ferric multimers through decay of the diferric-peroxo complex, the first detectable intermediate in ferritin mineralization." Biochemistry. 41 (2002): 13435-13443. AbstractWebsite

The catalytic step that initiates formation of the ferric oxy-hydroxide mineral core in the central cavity of H-type ferritin involves rapid oxidation of ferrous ion by molecular oxygen (ferroxidase reaction) at a binuclear site (ferroxidase site) found in each of the 24 subunits. Previous investigators have shown that the first detectable reaction intermediate of the ferroxidase reaction is a diferric-peroxo intermediate, F-peroxo, formed within 25 ms, which then leads to the release of H2O2 and formation of ferric mineral precursors. The stoichiometric relationship between F-peroxo, H2O2, and ferric mineral precursors, crucial to defining the reaction pathway and mechanism, has now been determined. To this end, a horseradish peroxidase-catalyzed spectrophotometric method was used as an assay for H2O2. By rapidly mixing apo M ferritin from frog, Fe2+, and O-2 and allowing the reaction to proceed for 70 ms when F-peroxo has reached its maximum accumulation, followed by spraying the reaction mixture into the H2O2 assay solution, we were able to quantitatively determine the amount of H2O2 produced during the decay of F-peroxo. The correlation between the amount of H2O2 released with the amount of F-peroxo accumulated at 70 ms determined by Mossbauer spectroscopy showed that F-peroxo decays into H2O2 with a stoichiometry of 1 F-peroxo:H2O2. When the decay of F-peroxo was monitored by rapid freeze-quench Mossbauer spectroscopy, multiple diferric mu-oxo/mu-hydroxo complexes and small polynuclear ferric clusters were found to form at rate constants identical to the decay rate of F-peroxo. This observed parallel formation of multiple products (H2O2, diferric complexes, and small polynuclear clusters) from the decay of a single precursor (F-peroxo) provides useful mechanistic insights into ferritin mineralization and demonstrates a flexible ferroxidase site.

Dias, JM, T. Alves, C. Bonifacio, AS Pereira, J. Trincao, D. Bourgeois, I. Moura, and MJ Romao. "Structural basis for the mechanism of Ca2+ activation of the di-heme cytochrome c peroxidase from Pseudomonas nautica 617." Structure. 12 (2004): 961-973. AbstractWebsite

Cytochrome c peroxidase (CCP) catalyses the reduction of H2O2 to H2O, an important step in the cellular detoxification process. The crystal structure of the di-heme CCP from Pseudomonas nautica 617 was obtained in two different conformations in a redox state with the electron transfer heme reduced. Form IN, obtained at pH 4.0, does not contain Ca2+ and was refined at 2.2 Angstrom resolution. This inactive form presents a closed conformation where the peroxidatic heme adopts a six-ligand coordination, hindering the peroxidatic reaction from taking place. Form OUT is Ca2+ dependent and was crystallized at pH 5.3 and refined at 2.4 Angstrom resolution. This active form shows an open conformation, with release of the distal histidine (His71) ligand, providing peroxide access to the active site. This is the first time that the active and inactive states are reported for a di-heme peroxidase.

Alves, T., S. Besson, AS Pereira, G. W. Pettigrew, JJG Moura, and I. Moura. "Structure-function studies of cytochrome c peroxidase from ps. nautica." Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 86 (2001): 122. AbstractWebsite
Franco, R., AS Pereira, P. Tavares, A. Mangravita, MJ Barber, I. Moura, and GC Ferreira. "Substitution of murine ferrochelatase glutamate-287 with glutamine or alanine leads to porphyrin substrate-bound variants." Biochemical Journal. 356 (2001): 217-222. AbstractWebsite

Ferrochelatase (EC is the terminal enzyme of the haem biosynthetic pathway and catalyses iron chelation into the protoporphyrin IX ring. Glutamate-287 (E287) of murine mature ferrochelatase is a conserved residue in all known sequences of ferrochelatase, is present at the active site of the enzyme, as inferred from the Bacillus subtilis ferrochelatase three-dimensional structure, and is critical for enzyme activity. Substitution of E287 with either glutamine (Q) or alanine (A) yielded variants with lower enzymic activity than that of the wild-type ferrochelatase and with different absorption spectra from the wild-type enzyme. In contrast to the wild-type enzyme, the absorption spectra of the variants indicate that these enzymes, as purified, contain protoporphyrin IX. Identification and quantification of the porphyrin bound to the E287-directed variants indicate that approx. 80% of the total porphyrin corresponds to protoporphyrin IX. Significantly, rapid stopped-flow experiments of the E287A and E287Q Variants demonstrate that reaction with Zn2+ results in the formation of bound Zn-protoporphyrin IX, indicating that the endogenously bound protoporphyrin IX can be used as a substrate. Taken together, these findings suggest that the structural strain imposed by ferrochelatase on the porphyrin substrate as a critical step in the enzyme catalytic mechanism is also accomplished by the E287A and E287Q variants, but without the release of the product. Thus E287 in murine ferrochelatase appears to be critical For the catalytic process by controlling the release of the product.

Pereira, AS, P. Tavares, F. Folgosa, R. M. Almeida, I. Moura, and JJG Moura. "Superoxide reductases." European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry (2007): 2569-2581. AbstractWebsite

Reactive oxygen species (ROS), when in excess, are among the most deleterious species an organism can deal with. The physiological effects of ROS include amino acid chain cleavage, DNA degradation and lipid oxidation, among others. They can be formed in the cytoplasm in a variety of ways, including autooxidation reactions (FMN- and FAD-containing enzymes) and Fenton reactions as a result of the cytoplasmatic pool of iron ions. The superoxide anion (021, despite its short half-life in solution, is particularly pernicious as it can form other reactive ROS (such as the strong oxidant peroxynitrite) or oxidize and/or reduce cellular components. For strict anaerobic or microaerophilic bacteria it is of particular importance to be able to dispose of ROS in a controlled manner, especially if these organisms are temporarily exposed to air. This review aims to describe the structural characteristics of superoxide reductases (SORs) and mechanistic aspects of biological superoxide anion reduction. SORs can be considered the main class of enzymes behind the oxygen detoxification pathway of anaerobic and microaerophilic bacteria. The geometry of the active site (three classes have been described), the possible electron donors in vivo and the current hypothesis for the catalytic mechanism will be discussed. Some phylogenetic considerations are presented, regarding the primary structure of SORs currently available in genome databases. ((c) Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 69451 Weinheim, Germany, 2007).

Siopa, F., AS Pereira, LM Ferreira, M. M. Marques, and P. S. Branco. "Synthesis of catecholamine conjugates with nitrogen-centered bionucleophiles." Bioorganic Chemistry. 44 (2012): 19-24. AbstractWebsite

The enzymatic (tyrosinase) and chemical (NaIO4, Ag2O or Fremys's salt) oxidation of biologically relevant catecholamines, such as dopamine (DA), N-acetyldopamine (NADA) and the Ecstasy metabolites (alpha-MeDA and N-Me-alpha-MeDA) generates the corresponding o-quinone which can be trapped with nitrogen bionucleophiles such as N-acetyl-histidine and imidazole in a regioselective reaction that takes place predominantly at the 6-position of the catecholamine. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.