ENDOR/HYSCORE studies of the common intermediate trapped during nitrogenase reduction of N2H2, CH3N2H, and N2H4 support an alternating reaction pathway for N2 reduction.
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Enzymatic N(2) reduction proceeds along a reaction pathway composed of a sequence of intermediate states generated as a dinitrogen bound to the active-site iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMo-co) of the nitrogenase MoFe protein undergoes six steps of hydrogenation (e(-)/H(+) delivery). There are two competing proposals for the reaction pathway, and they invoke different intermediates. In the 'Distal' (D) pathway, a single N of N(2) is hydrogenated in three steps until the first NH(3) is liberated, and then the remaining nitrido-N is hydrogenated three more times to yield the second NH(3). In the 'Alternating' (A) pathway, the two N's instead are hydrogenated alternately, with a hydrazine-bound intermediate formed after four steps of hydrogenation and the first NH(3) liberated only during the fifth step. A recent combination of X/Q-band EPR and (15)N, (1,2)H ENDOR measurements suggested that states trapped during turnover of the α-70(Ala)/α-195(Gln) MoFe protein with diazene or hydrazine as substrate correspond to a common intermediate (here denoted I) in which FeMo-co binds a substrate-derived [N(x)H(y)] moiety, and measurements reported here show that turnover with methyldiazene generates the same intermediate. In the present report we describe X/Q-band EPR and (14/15)N, (1,2)H ENDOR/HYSCORE/ESEEM measurements that characterize the N-atom(s) and proton(s) associated with this moiety. The experiments establish that turnover with N(2)H(2), CH(3)N(2)H, and N(2)H(4) in fact generates a common intermediate, I, and show that the N-N bond of substrate has been cleaved in I. Analysis of this finding leads us to conclude that nitrogenase reduces N(2)H(2), CH(3)N(2)H, and N(2)H(4) via a common A reaction pathway, and that the same is true for N(2) itself, with Fe ion(s) providing the site of reaction.
author list (cited authors)
Lukoyanov, D., Dikanov, S. A., Yang, Z., Barney, B. M., Samoilova, R. I., Narasimhulu, K. V., ... Hoffman, B. M
complete list of authors
Lukoyanov, Dmitriy||Dikanov, Sergei A||Yang, Zhi-Yong||Barney, Brett M||Samoilova, Rimma I||Narasimhulu, Kuppala V||Dean, Dennis R||Seefeldt, Lance C||Hoffman, Brian M