Mechanism of hydrogen peroxide formation by lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase

Octav Caldararu, Esko Oksanen, Ulf Ryde, Erik D. Hedegård

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30 Citations (SciVal)


Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) are copper-containing metalloenzymes that can cleave the glycosidic link in polysaccharides. This could become crucial for production of energy-efficient biofuels from recalcitrant polysaccharides. Although LPMOs are considered oxygenases, recent investigations have shown that H2O2 can also act as a co-substrate for LPMOs. Intriguingly, LPMOs generate H2O2 in the absence of a polysaccharide substrate. Here, we elucidate a new mechanism for H2O2 generation starting from an AA10-LPMO crystal structure with an oxygen species bound, using QM/MM calculations. The reduction level and protonation state of this oxygen-bound intermediate has been unclear. However, this information is crucial to the mechanism. We therefore investigate the oxygen-bound intermediate with quantum refinement (crystallographic refinement enhanced with QM calculations), against both X-ray and neutron data. Quantum refinement calculations suggest a Cu(ii)-O-2 system in the active site of the AA10-LPMO and a neutral protonated -NH2 state for the terminal nitrogen atom, the latter in contrast to the original interpretation. Our QM/MM calculations show that H2O2 generation is possible only from a Cu(i) center and that the most favourable reaction pathway is to involve a nearby glutamate residue, adding two electrons and two protons to the Cu(ii)-O-2 system, followed by dissociation of H2O2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-586
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Polymer Chemistry


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