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The role of Asp116 in the reductive cleavage of dioxygen to water in CotA laccase: assistance during the proton‐transfer mechanism

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Multi‐copper oxidases constitute a family of proteins that are capable of coupling the one‐electron oxidation of four substrate equivalents to the four‐electron reduction of dioxygen to two molecules of water. The main catalytic stages occurring during the process have already been identified, but several questions remain, including the nature of the protonation events that take place during the reductive cleavage of dioxygen to water. The presence of a structurally conserved acidic residue (Glu498 in CotA laccase from Bacillus subtilis) at the dioxygen‐entrance channel has been reported to play a decisive role in the protonation mechanisms, channelling protons during the reduction process and stabilizing the site as a whole. A second acidic residue that is sequentially conserved in multi‐copper oxidases and sited within the exit channel (Asp116 in CotA) has also been identified as being important in the protonation process. In this study, CotA laccase has been used as a model system to assess the role of Asp116 in the reduction process of dioxygen to water. The crystal structures of three distinct mutants, D116E, D116N and D116A, produced by site‐saturation mutagenesis have been determined. In addition, theoretical calculations have provided further support for a role of this residue in the protonation events.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Avenida da Republica, 2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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