UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ
The primary objective of this research is to elucidate the mechanism of electron and proton transfer during the reduction of dioxygen to water by heme-copper oxidases. Our specific aims will focus on 4 problems: 1. The mechanism of the reduction of dioxygen to water by wild-type and mutant bacterial heme-copper oxidases will be studied by the CO flow-flash method. Time-resolved multichannel optical absorption spectroscopy, in conjunction with singular value decomposition (SVD) and global exponential fitting analysis, will be used to follow the kinetics of electron and proton transfer and to deduce the UV-Vis spectra of the transient intermediates. These studies should provide new insight into the mechanism of the dioxygen reduction reaction by heme-copper oxidases. 2. The intramolecular electron transfer in the bacterial oxidases, bo3 from E. coli, aa3 from Rhodobacter sphaeroides and ba3 from Thermus thermophilus, will be investigated using a photoactivatable dye, thiouredopyrenetrisulfonate (TUPS), covalently linked to single reactive cysteine residues on the oxidases. Time-resolved optical absorption spectroscopy will be used to determine the spectra of the intermediates. By varying the distance between the labeled cysteine and the initial electron acceptor and by introducing breaks into presumed electron transfer pathways by site-directed mutagenesis, detailed information regarding intramolecular electron transfer pathways in heme-copper oxidases will be obtained. 3. We will synthesize chemical analogs of the active site of cytochrome oxidase, including the cyclic pentapeptide (His-Pro-Glu-Val-Tyr) with and without Cu-ligands incorporated. The analogs will be studied using steady-state and time-resolved UV-Vis spectroscopy, FTIR and EPR, which will provide insight into the role of the cross-link in cytochrome oxidase function. 4. Nitric oxide (NO) has emerged as an important biological regulatory agent. A new direction in our research is to understand how NO interacts with heme-copper oxidases. The photodissociation dynamics of ruthenium nitrosyl complexes and the reaction of the photoproduced NO with heme-copper oxidases and their turnover intermediates will be investigated using time-resolved multichannel optical absorption spectroscopy. These studies will circumvent rate limitation imposed by stopped-flow techniques and provide information regarding NO regulation of cytochrome oxidase activity.