Mechanism of Reduction of an Aminyl Radical Intermediate in the Radical SAM GTP 3',8-Cyclase MoaA.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The diversity of the reactions catalyzed by radical S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) enzymes is achieved at least in part through the variety of mechanisms to quench their radical intermediates. In the SPASM-twitch family, the largest family of radical SAM enzymes, the radical quenching step is thought to involve an electron transfer to or from an auxiliary 4Fe-4S cluster in or adjacent to the active site. However, experimental demonstration of such functions remains limited. As a representative member of this family, MoaA has one radical SAM cluster ([4Fe-4S]RS) and one auxiliary cluster ([4Fe-4S]AUX), and catalyzes a unique 3',8-cyclization of GTP into 3',8-cyclo-7,8-dihydro-GTP (3',8-cH2GTP) in the molybdenum cofactor (Moco) biosynthesis. Here, we report a mechanistic investigation of the radical quenching step in MoaA, a chemically challenging reduction of 3',8-cyclo-GTP-N7 aminyl radical. We first determined the reduction potentials of [4Fe-4S]RS and [4Fe-4S]AUX as -510 mV and -455 mV, respectively, using a combination of protein film voltammogram (PFV) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Subsequent Q-band EPR characterization of 5'-deoxyadenosine C4' radical (5'-dA-C4'•) trapped in the active site revealed isotropic exchange interaction (∼260 MHz) between 5'-dA-C4'• and [4Fe-4S]AUX1+, suggesting that [4Fe-4S]AUX is in the reduced (1+) state during the catalysis. Together with density functional theory (DFT) calculation, we propose that the aminyl radical reduction proceeds through a proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET), where [4Fe-4S]AUX serves as an electron donor and R17 residue acts as a proton donor. These results provide detailed mechanistic insights into the radical quenching step of radical SAM enzyme catalysis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pang, H; Walker, LM; Silakov, A; Zhang, P; Yang, W; Elliott, SJ; Yokoyama, K

Published Date

  • September 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 143 / 34

Start / End Page

  • 13835 - 13844

PubMed ID

  • 34423974

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8415136

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-5126

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/jacs.1c06268


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States