Leghemoglobin-derived radicals. Evidence for multiple protein-derived radicals and the initiation of peribacteroid membrane damage

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Reaction of H2O2 with ferric leghemoglobin (metLb, the monomeric, oxygen-carrying, heme protein from root nodules of nitrogen-fixing plants) has been previously shown to generate an iron(IV)-oxo (ferryl) species and at least one protein radical. The latter has been suggested to be a tyrosine-derived phenoxyl radical present at Tyr-133 in the soybean protein and Tyr-138 in the lupin protein. To obtain further information on these protein radicals and their potential interaction with the physiologically important peribacteroid membrane (which surrounds the microsymbiont in vivo), EPR spin trapping studies have been carried out with soybean metLb. Evidence has been obtained for at least two additional protein-derived radicals in addition to the phenoxyl radical; these radicals are transient and reactive in nature. These species are carbon-centered, and at least one is a tertiary species (.CR1R2R3); these radicals may be side chain- or alpha-carbon-derived, their exact sites have not been determined. Some of these radicals are on the protein surface and may be key intermediates in the formation of protein dimers. These radicals have been shown to be capable of reacting with peribacteroid membrane fractions, with the consequent generation of lipid-derived radicals. The formation of such radicals may result in the depletion of membrane antioxidants and the initiation of lipid peroxidation. This transfer of damage from the heme center via the protein surface to neighboring membranes may be of considerable biological significance; the destruction of this membrane is one of the earliest observable events in root nodule senescence and is associated with the loss of nitrogen-fixing activity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number51
Pages (from-to)32557-62
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 1996

    Research areas

  • Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy, Free Radicals, Heme, Hydrogen Peroxide, Intracellular Membranes, Leghemoglobin, Phenol, Phenols, Protein Conformation, Rhizobiaceae, Soybeans

ID: 138286223