Kinetics of carbon monoxide binding to monomeric hemoproteins. Role of the proximal histidine

M. Coletta, P. Ascenzi, T. G. Traylor, M. Brunori

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The effect of pH on (i) the second-order rate constant for CO-binding and (ii) the spectral properties of the deoxygenated derivative of several monomeric hemoproteins has been investigated in the pH range between 2.3 and 9.0. As in the case of 3-[1-imidazolyl]-propylamide monomethyl ester mesoheme, the rate constant for CO binding to sperm whale, horse, Dermochelys coriacea, Coryphaena hippurus, and Aplysia limacina myoglobins (the latter only in the presence of acetate/acetic acid micture) increases, as the pH is lowered, to a value at least 1 order of magnitude higher than at pH 7.0. Such an effect is not observed in A. limacina myoglobin (in the absence of the acetate/acetic acid mixture) and Chironomus thummi thummi erythrocruorin. Moreover, the absorption spectrum, in the visible region, of the deoxy derivative of all these monomeric hemoproteins (with the exception of A. limacina myoglobin in the absence of the acetate/acetic acid mixture) undergoes a transition as the pH is lowered, an effect observed previously with 3-[1-imidazolyl]-propylamide monomethyl ester protoheme. On the basis of analogous spectroscopic and kinetic properties of chelated heme model compounds we attribute this behavior to the protonation of the N(ε) of the proximal imidazole involved in the bond with the iron atom. On the basis of this model the movement of the iron atom to the heme plane appears as a crucial step for CO binding, the activation free energy of the process amounting to ~2 kcal/mol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4151-4155
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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