Reactions of Ferrous Coproheme Decarboxylase (HemQ) with O2 and H2O2 Yield Ferric Heme b


Bennett R. Streit, Arianna I. Celis, Krista Shisler, Kenton R. Rodgers, Gudrun S. Lukat-Rodgers, Jennifer L. DuBois




A recently discovered pathway for the biosynthesis of heme b ends in an unusual reaction catalyzed by coproheme decarboxylase (HemQ), where the Fe(II)-containing coproheme acts as both substrate and cofactor. Because both O2 and H2O2 are available as cellular oxidants, pathways for the reaction involving either can be proposed. Analysis of reaction kinetics and products showed that, under aerobic conditions, the ferrous coproheme-decarboxylase complex is rapidly and selectively oxidized by O2 to the ferric state. The subsequent second-order reaction between the ferric complex and H2O2 is slow, pH-dependent, and further decelerated by D2O2 (average kinetic isotope effect of 2.2). The observation of rapid reactivity with peracetic acid suggested the possible involvement of Compound I (ferryl porphyrin cation radical), consistent with coproheme and harderoheme reduction potentials in the range of heme proteins that heterolytically cleave H2O2. Resonance Raman spectroscopy nonetheless indicated a remarkably weak Fe-His interaction; how the active site structure may support heterolytic H2O2 cleavage is therefore unclear. From a cellular perspective, the use of H2O2 as an oxidant in a catalase-positive organism is intriguing, as is the unusual generation of heme b in the Fe(III) rather than Fe(II) state as the end product of heme synthesis.



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