Protein phosphorylation and intermolecular electron transfer: a joint experimental and computational study of a hormone biosynthesis pathway.
Protein phosphorylation is a common regulator of enzyme activity. Chemical modification of a protein surface, including phosphorylation, could alter the function of biological electron-transfer reactions. However, the sensitivity of intermolecular electron-transfer kinetics to post-translational protein modifications has not been widely investigated. We have therefore combined experimental and computational studies to assess the potential role of phosphorylation in electron-transfer reactions. We investigated the steroid hydroxylating system from bovine adrenal glands, which consists of adrenodoxin (Adx), adrenodoxin reductase (AdR), and a cytochrome P450, CYP11A1. We focused on the phosphorylation of Adx at Thr-71, since this residue is located in the acidic interaction domain of Adx, and a recent study has demonstrated that this residue is phosphorylated by casein kinase 2 (CK2) in vitro.1 Optical biosensor experiments indicate that the presence of this phosphorylation slightly increases the binding affinity of oxidized Adx with CYP11A1ox but not AdRox. This tendency was confirmed by KA values extracted from Adx concentration-dependent stopped-flow experiments that characterize the interaction between AdRred and Adxox or between Adxred and CYP11A1ox. In addition, acceleration of the electron-transfer kinetics measured with stopped-flow is seen only for the phosphorylated Adx-CYP11A1 reaction. Biphasic reaction kinetics are observed only when Adx is phosphorylated at Thr-71, and the Brownian dynamics (BD) simulations suggest that this phosphorylation may enhance the formation of a secondary Adx-CYP11A1 binding complex that provides an additional electron-transfer pathway with enhanced coupling.
Zöllner, A; Pasquinelli, MA; Bernhardt, R; Beratan, DN
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