Electron-nuclear double resonance spectroscopic evidence that S-adenosylmethionine binds in contact with the catalytically active [4Fe-4S](+) cluster of pyruvate formate-lyase activating enzyme. Academic Article uri icon


  • Pyruvate formate-lyase activating enzyme (PFL-AE) is a representative member of an emerging family of enzymes that utilize iron-sulfur clusters and S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) to initiate radical catalysis. Although these enzymes have diverse functions, evidence is emerging that they operate by a common mechanism in which a [4Fe-4S](+) interacts with AdoMet to generate a 5'-deoxyadenosyl radical intermediate. To date, however, it has been unclear whether the iron-sulfur cluster is a simple electron-transfer center or whether it participates directly in the radical generation chemistry. Here we utilize electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and pulsed 35 GHz electron-nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) spectroscopy to address this question. EPR spectroscopy reveals a dramatic effect of AdoMet on the EPR spectrum of the [4Fe-4S](+) of PFL-AE, changing it from rhombic (g = 2.02, 1.94, 1.88) to nearly axial (g = 2.01, 1.88, 1.87). (2)H and (13)C ENDOR spectroscopy was performed on [4Fe-4S](+)-PFL-AE (S = (1)/(2)) in the presence of AdoMet labeled at the methyl position with either (2)H or (13)C (denoted [1+/AdoMet]). The observation of a substantial (2)H coupling of approximately 1 MHz ( approximately 6-7 MHz for (1)H), as well as hyperfine-split signals from the (13)C, manifestly require that AdoMet lie close to the cluster. (2)H and (13)C ENDOR data were also obtained for the interaction of AdoMet with the diamagnetic [4Fe-4S](2+) state of PFL-AE, which is visualized through cryoreduction of the frozen [4Fe-4S](2+)/AdoMet complex to form the reduced state (denoted [2+/AdoMet](red)) trapped in the structure of the oxidized state. (2)H and (13)C ENDOR spectra for [2+/AdoMet](red) are essentially identical to those obtained for the [1+/AdoMet] samples, showing that the cofactor binds in the same geometry to both the 1+ and 2+ states of PFL-AE. Analysis of 2D field-frequency (13)C ENDOR data reveals an isotropic hyperfine contribution, which requires that AdoMet lie in contact with the cluster, weakly interacting with it through an incipient bond/antibond. From the anisotropic hyperfine contributions for the (2)H and (13)C ENDOR, we have estimated the distance from the closest methyl proton of AdoMet to the closest iron of the cluster to be approximately 3.0-3.8 A, while the distance from the methyl carbon to the nearest iron is approximately 4-5 A. We have used this information to construct a model for the interaction of AdoMet with the [4Fe-4S](2+/+) cluster of PFL-AE and have proposed a mechanism for radical generation that is consistent with these results.

published proceedings

  • J Am Chem Soc

author list (cited authors)

  • Walsby, C. J., Hong, W., Broderick, W. E., Cheek, J., Ortillo, D., Broderick, J. B., & Hoffman, B. M

citation count

  • 157

complete list of authors

  • Walsby, Charles J||Hong, Wei||Broderick, William E||Cheek, Jennifer||Ortillo, Danilo||Broderick, Joan B||Hoffman, Brian M

publication date

  • March 2002