Indexed on: 16 Jun '15Published on: 16 Jun '15Published in: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Multicopper oxidases (MCOs) utilize an electron shuttling Type 1 Cu (T1) site in conjunction with a mononuclear Type 2 (T2) and a binuclear Type 3 (T3) site, arranged in a trinuclear copper cluster (TNC), to reduce O2 to H2O. Reduction of O2 occurs with limited overpotential indicating that all the coppers in the active site can be reduced via high-potential electron donors. Two forms of the resting enzyme have been observed in MCOs: the alternative resting form (AR), where only one of the three TNC Cu's is oxidized, and the resting oxidized form (RO), where all three TNC Cu's are oxidized. In contrast to the AR form, we show that in the RO form of a high-potential MCO, the binuclear T3 Cu(II) site can be reduced via the 700 mV T1 Cu. Systematic spectroscopic evaluation reveals that this proceeds by a two-electron process, where delivery of the first electron, forming a high energy, metastable half reduced T3 state, is followed by the rapid delivery of a second energetically favorable electron to fully reduce the T3 site. Alternatively, when this fully reduced binuclear T3 site is oxidized via the T1 Cu, a different thermodynamically favored half oxidized T3 form, i.e., the AR site, is generated. This behavior is evaluated by DFT calculations, which reveal that the protein backbone plays a significant role in controlling the environment of the active site coppers. This allows for the formation of the metastable, half reduced state and thus the complete reductive activation of the enzyme for catalysis.