Spectroscopic characterization of the iron-oxo intermediate in cytochrome P450


  • C. Jung
  • V. Schuenemann
  • F. Lendzian
  • A.X. Trautwein
  • J. Contzen
  • M. Galander
  • L.H. Boettger
  • M. Richter
  • A.L. Barra


  • Biological Chemistry


  • Biol Chem 386 (10): 1043-1053


  • From analogy to chloroperoxidase from Caldariomyces fumago, It is believed that the electronic structure of the intermediate iron-oxo species in the catalytic cycle of cytochrome P450 corresponds to an iron(IV) porphyrin-π-cation radical (compound I). However, our recent studies on P450cam revealed that after 8 ms a tyrosine radical and iron(IV) were formed in the reaction of ferric P450 with external oxidants in the shunt pathway. The present study on the heme domain of P450BM3 (P450BMP) shows a similar result. In addition to a tyrosine radical, a contribution from a tryptophan radical was found in the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra of P450BMP. Here we present comparative multifrequency EPR (9.6, 94 and 285 GHz) and Mössbauer spectroscopic studies on freeze-quenched intermediates produced using peroxy acetic acid as oxidant for both P450 cytochromes. After 8 ms in both systems, amino acid radicals occurred instead of the proposed iron(IV) porphyrin-π-cation radical, which may be transiently formed on a much faster time scale. These findings are discussed with respect to other heme thiolate proteins. Our studies demonstrate that intramolecular electron transfer from aromatic amino acids is a common feature in these enzymes. The electron transfer quenches the presumably transiently formed porphyrin-π-cation radical, which makes it extremely difficult to trap compound I.