Mechanistic studies of the radical transport pathway in aminotyrosine-substituted class Ia ribonucleotide reductase
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Chemistry.
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Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) catalyzes the reduction of nucleotides to 2'- deoxynucleotides. The focus of this thesis is the F coli class la RNR, which is comprised of two homodimeric subunits, [alpha]2 and [beta]2, forming an active [alpha]2[beta]2 complex. The [beta]2 subunit harbors the stable diferric-tyrosyl radical cofactor (Y 122*) that reversibly oxidizes the active site cysteine (C₄₃₉) in [alpha]2. This oxidation requires a long-range radical transport (RT) pathway consisting of proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) events through redox-active aromatic amino acid residues: Y₁₂₂* <--> [W₄₈] <--> Y₃₅₆ in [beta]2 to Y₇₃₁ <--> Y₇₃₀ <--> C₄₃₉ in [alpha]2. Once formed, the transient C₄₃₉* initiates nucleotide reduction. Both the long-range oxidation and the nucleotide reduction chemistries are kinetically masked by rate-limiting protein conformational change(s). To overcome this conformational change, the unnatural amino acid probe 3-aminotyrosine (NH₂Y) has been sitespecifically incorporated at multiple positions (Y₃₅₆, Y₇₃₁, Y₇₃₀) into the RT pathway. Herein, the NH₂Y probe is characterized as pertaining to the previously demonstrated ability for NH₂Y-incorporated RNR (NH₂Y-RNR) to form product. The reduction potential of NH₂Y produces a thermodynamic barrier that RNR cannot overcome. To explain NH₂Y-RNR activity, mass spectrometry was used for relative quantitation of contaminating wt-RNR in the NH₂Y-RNR, lending credence to the fact that the NH₂Y-RNRs are actually inactive. These results provide clarity to the long-standing mystery behind the low activities of the NH₂Y-RNRs. The use of the NH₂Y probe to generate stable radicals on the RT pathway has revealed further remarkable insight, demonstrating a hydrogen bonding network in the [alpha]2 subunit by employing advanced EPR methods on NH₂Y₇₃₀* and NH₂Y₇₃₁*. The evidence for a collinear PCET mechanism is provided with the NH₂Y₇₃₀/Y₇₃₁F and NH₂Y₇₃₁/C₄₃₉A mutants. Mutation of an R₄₁₁ to alanine in [alpha]2 allowed the detection of a "flipped" NH₂Y₇₃₁* conformation using advanced EPR techniques. Herein, photo cross-linked RNR is studied by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). The study of a photo cross-linked [alpha]2[beta]2 complex using a 4-N-maleimido-benzophenone covalently attached to the C-terminal tail of [beta]2 yielded no photo cross-linked peptides. These studies taken together provide additional insight at the [alpha][beta] interface and provide additional tools to study this interaction.
Thesis: Ph. D. in Biological Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Chemistry, 2018.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Chemistry.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology