The influence of axial ligands on the reduction potential of blue copper proteins

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Abstract

The reduction potentials of blue copper sites vary between 180 and about 1000 mV. It has been suggested that the reason for this variation is that the proteins constrain the distance between the copper ion and its axial ligands to different values. We have tested this suggestion by performing density functional B3LYP calculations on realistic models of the blue copper proteins, including solvent effects by the polarizable continuum method. Constraining the Cu-S(Met) bond length to values between 245 and 310 pm (the range encountered in crystal structures) change the reduction potential by less than 70 mV. Similarly, we have studied five typical blue copper proteins spanning the whole range of reduction potentials: stellacyanin, plastocyanin, azurin, rusticyanin, and ceruloplasmin. These studies included the methionine (or glutamine) ligand as well as the back-bone carbonyl oxygen group that is a ligand in azurin and is found at larger distances in the other proteins. The active-site models of these proteins show a variation in the reduction potential of about 140 mV, i.e., only a minor part of the range observed experimentally (800 mV). Consequently, we can conclude that the axial ligands have a small influence on the reduction potentials of the blue copper proteins. Instead, the large variation in the reduction potentials seems to arise mainly from variations in the solvent accessibility of the copper site and in the orientation of protein dipoles around the copper site.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Inorganic Chemistry

Keywords

  • Blue copper protein, Entatic state theory, Induced rack theory, Quantum chemical calculations, Reduction potential
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-663
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
Volume4
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999 Oct
Peer-reviewedYes