Building reactive copper centers in human carbonic anhydrase II
Reengineering metalloproteins to generate new biologically relevant metal centers is an effective a way to test our understanding of the structural and mechanistic features that steer chemical transformations in biological systems. Here, we report thermodynamic data characterizing the formation of two type-2 copper sites in carbonic anhydrase and experimental evidence showing one of these new, copper centers has characteristics similar to a variety of well-characterized copper centers in synthetic models and enzymatic systems. Human carbonic anhydrase II is known to bind two Cu2+ ions; these binding events were explored using modern isothermal titration calorimetry techniques that have become a proven method to accurately measure metal-binding thermodynamic parameters. The two Cu2+-binding events have different affinities (Ka approximately 5 × 1012 and 1 × 1010), and both are enthalpically driven processes. Reconstituting these Cu2+ sites under a range of conditions has allowed us to assign the Cu2+-binding event to the three-histidine, native, metal-binding site. Our initial efforts to characterize these Cu2+ sites have yielded data that show distinctive (and noncoupled) EPR signals associated with each copper-binding site and that this reconstituted enzyme can activate hydrogen peroxide to catalyze the oxidation of 2-aminophenol.
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