Identification of the EPR-active iron-nitrosyl complexes in mammalian ferritins

M. Lee, P. Arosio, A. Cozzi, N. D. Chasteen

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This study was undertaken to characterize the nitric oxide complexes of mammalian ferritin and their EPR properties to gain a better understanding of the interaction of NO with non-heme iron proteins within the cell. Measurements were made with horse spleen apo- and holoferritins, with chemically modified proteins, and with recombinant human H-chain apoferritin and its site-directed mutants. Three types of EPR signals (A, B, and C) have been identified and attributed to iron-nitrosyl complexes at imidazole groups of histidine, thiol groups of cysteine, and carboxylate groups of aspartate and glutamate, respectively. The C-type axial spectrum has features at g is perpendicular to' = 4 and g is parallel with' = 2 characteristic of a paramagnetic Fe3+-NO complex with total spin S = 3/2 and probably arises from nonspecific binding to carboxylate groups on the protein. The S = 1/2 axial B-type signal (g is perpendicular to' = 2.033 and g is parallel with' = 2.014) is formed at Cys-130 (human H-chain sequence numbering). His-128 and possibly His-118 are sites of formation of the rhombic S = 1/2 A-type complex (g(x)' = 2.055, g(y)' = 2.033, and g(z)' = 2.015); the former residue perhaps plays a role in the conformational stability of the protein as well as in iron binding. The data reveal that the residues Cys-130 and His-128 in the vicinity of 3-fold channels leading to the interior of the protein shell are important in iron-nitrosyl complex formation in mammalian ferritins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3679-3687
Number of pages9
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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