Inorganic Chemistry

Spectroscopic Studies of the Active Site of Galactose Oxidase

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X-ray absorption and EPR spectroscopy have been used to probe the copper site structure in galactose oxidase at pH 4.5 and 7.0. The results suggest that there are no major differences in the structure of the tetragonal Cu(II) site at these pH values. Analysis of the extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) indicates that four N,O scatterers are present at approximately 2 Å; these are presumably the equatorial ligands. In addition, the EXAFS data establish that oxidative activation to produce the active-site tyrosine radical does not cause major changes in the copper coordination environment. Therefore results obtained on the one-electron reduced enzyme, containing Cu(II) but not the tyrosine radical, probably also apply to the catalytically active Cu(II)/tyrosine radical state. Solvent water exchange, inhibitor binding, and substrate binding have been probed via nuclear magnetic relaxation dispersion (NMRD) measurements. The NMRD profile of galactose oxidase is quantitatively consistent with the rapid exchange of a single, equatorial water ligand with a Cu(II)-O separation of about 2.4 Å. Azide and cyanide displace this coordinated water. The binding of azide and the substrate dihydroxyacetone produce very similar effects on the NMRD profile of galactose oxidase, indicating that substrates also bind to the active site Cu(II) in an equatorial position. © 1995, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.