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Succinate: Ubiquinone Oxidoreductase from Paracoccus denitrificans and Particulate Methane Monooxygenase from Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath): Experimental and Theoretical EPR Studies of the Metal Cofactors


Hung, Shao-Ching (2001) Succinate: Ubiquinone Oxidoreductase from Paracoccus denitrificans and Particulate Methane Monooxygenase from Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath): Experimental and Theoretical EPR Studies of the Metal Cofactors. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/ze04-mx93.


This thesis summarizes the application of conventional and modern electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) techniques to establish proximity relationships between paramagnetic metal centers in metalloproteins and between metal centers and magnetic ligand nuclei in two important and timely membrane proteins: succinate:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (SQR) from Paracoccus denitrificans and particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) from Methylococcus capsulatus. Such proximity relationships are thought to be critical to the biological function and the associated biochemistry mediated by the metal centers in these proteins. A mechanistic understanding of biological function relies heavily on structure-function relationships and the knowledge of how molecular structure and electronic properties of the metal centers influence the reactivity in metalloenzymes. EPR spectroscopy has proven to be one of the most powerful techniques towards obtaining information about interactions between metal centers as well as defining ligand structures. SQR is an electron transport enzyme wherein the substrates, organic and metallic cofactors are held relatively far apart. Here, the proximity relationships of the metallic cofactors were studied through their weak spin-spin interactions by means of EPR power saturation and electron spin-lattice (T_1) measurements, when the enzyme was poised at designated reduction levels. Analysis of the electron T_1 measurements for the S-3 center when the b-heme is paramagnetic led to a detailed analysis of the dipolar interactions and distance determination between two interacting metal centers. Studies of ligand environment of the metal centers by electron spin echo envelope modulation (ESEEM) spectroscopy resulted in the identication of peptide nitrogens as coupled nuclei in the environment of the S-1 and S-3 centers.

Finally, an EPR model was developed to describe the ferromagnetically coupled trinuclear copper clusters in pMMO when the enzyme is oxidized. The Cu(II) ions in these clusters appear to be strongly exchange coupled, and the EPR is consistent with equilateral triangular arrangements of type 2 copper ions. These results offer the first glimpse of the magneto-structural correlations for a trinuclear copper cluster of this type, which, until the work on pMMO, has had no precedent in the metalloprotein literature. Such trinuclear copper clusters are even rare in synthetic models.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Chemistry, Succinate, ubiquinone oxidoreductase, studies of the metal cofactors, Paracoccus denitrificans, particulate methane monooxygenase
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemistry
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Chan, Sunney I.
Thesis Committee:
  • Baldeschwieler, John D. (chair)
  • Beauchamp, Jesse L.
  • Rees, Douglas C.
  • Chan, Sunney I.
Defense Date:1 September 2000
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03212014-084556805
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8156
Deposited By: Dan Anguka
Deposited On:21 Mar 2014 16:13
Last Modified:13 Sep 2022 21:35

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