OREGON HEALTH & SCIENCE UNIVERSITY
This research aims to elucidate reaction intermediates of NO-reductase activity in diiron proteins, with the ultimate goal of understanding how the metal clusters catalyze this reaction. Our studies will focus on three emzymes: 1) denitrifying NO reductases cNOR from Paracoccus denitrificans and qCuANOR from Bacillus azotoformans, 2) the [heme-copper] ba3 ter,oma; oxidase from Termus thermophilus, and 3) detoxifying NO reductase flavoprotein A (FprA) from Moorella thermoacetica. A better understanding of microbial NO reductases is highly desirable considering that these enzymatic reactions provide a resistance to the mammalian immune response. Although crystal structures exist for some of these enzymes, the structure and reactivity of their NO-complexes are not known. Diiron proteins participate in both detoxifying and denitrifying NO reductase reactions and are thought to react with NO to form [FeNO]2 intermediates. Alternative mechanistic models are considered and tested in this proposal. Resonance Raman and FTIR spectroscopies have the unique capability to identify nitrosyl intermediates and to define thier NO-binding geometries with regard to the two metal ions. Novel rapid freeze-quench (RFQ) instrumentation that can trap intermediates within a sub-ms timescale provides new opportunities to characterize reaction intermediates that were previously inaccessible to sprectroscopic methods. FTIR spectroscopy, in conjunction with low offers insight into binding geometries, potential hydrogen bond interactions and proton transfers relevant to these NO reductase mechanisms.