Direct Measurement by Laser Flash Photolysis of Intraprotein Electron Transfer in a Rat Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase


Molecular and Cellular Biology

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Intraprotein interdomain electron transfer (IET) from flavin mononucleotide (FMN) to heme is essential in nitric oxide (NO) synthesis by NO synthase (NOS). Our previous laser flash photolysis studies have provided a direct determination of the kinetics of IET between the FMN and heme domains in truncated oxyFMN constructs of rat neuronal NOS (nNOS) and murine inducible NOS (iNOS), in which only the oxygenase and FMN domains along with the calmodulin (CaM) binding site are present [Feng, C. J.; Tollin, G.; Holliday, M. A.; Thomas, C.; Salerno, J. C.; Enemark, J. H.; Ghosh, D. K. Biochemistry 2006, 45, 6354-6362. Feng, C. J.; Thomas, C.; Holliday, M. A.; Tollin, G.; Salerno, J. C.; Ghosh, D. K.; Enemark, J. H. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 3808-3811]. Here, we report the kinetics of IET between the FMN and heme domains in a rat nNOS holoenzyme in the presence and absence of added CaM using laser flash photolysis of CO dissociation in comparative studies on partially reduced NOS and a single domain NOS oxygenase construct. The IET rate constant in the presence of CaM is 36 s(-1), whereas no IET was observed in the absence of CaM. The kinetics reported here are about an order of magnitude slower than the kinetics in a rat nNOS oxyFMN construct with added CaM (262 s(-1)). We attribute the slower IET between FMN and heme in the holoenzyme to the additional step of dissociation of the FMN domain from the reductase complex before reassociation with the oxygenase domain to form the electron-transfer competent output state complex. This work provides the first direct measurement of CaM-controlled electron transfer between catalytically significant redox couples of FMN and heme in a nNOS holoenzyme.

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Journal of the American Chemical Society

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