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Although the NO (nitric oxide)-mediated modification of iron-sulfur proteins has been well-documented in bacteria and mammalian cells, specific reactivity of NO with iron-sulfur proteins still remains elusive. In the present study, we report the first kinetic characterization of the reaction between NO and iron-sulfur clusters in protein using the Escherichia coli IlvD (dihydroxyacid dehydratase) [4Fe-4S] cluster as an example. Combining a sensitive NO electrode with EPR (electron paramagnetic resonance) spectroscopy and an enzyme activity assay, we demonstrate that NO is rapidly consumed by the IlvD [4Fe-4S] cluster with the concomitant formation of the IlvD-bound DNIC (dinitrosyl-iron complex) and inactivation of the enzyme activity under anaerobic conditions. The rate constant for the initial reaction betweenNOand the IlvD [4Fe-4S] cluster is estimated to be (7.0±2.0)×106 M-2 · s-1 at 25°C, which is approx. 2-3 times faster than that of the NO autoxidation by O2 in aqueous solution. Addition of GSH failed to prevent the NOmediated modification of the IlvD [4Fe-4S] cluster regardless of the presence of O2 in the medium, further suggesting that NO is more reactivewith the IlvD [4Fe-4S] cluster than with GSH or O2. Purified aconitase B [4Fe-4S] cluster from E. coli has an almost identical NO reactivity as the IlvD [4Fe-4S] cluster. However, the reaction between NO and the endonuclease III [4Fe-4S] cluster is relatively slow, apparently because the [4Fe-4S] cluster in endonuclease III is less accessible to solvent than those in IlvD and aconitase B. When E. coli cells containing recombinant IlvD, aconitase B or endonuclease III are exposed to NO using the Silastic tubing NO delivery system under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, the [4Fe-4S] clusters in IlvD and aconitase B, but not in endonuclease III, are efficiently modified forming the proteinbound DNICs, confirming that NO has a higher reactivity with the [4Fe-4S] clusters in IlvD and aconitase B than with O2 or GSH. The results suggest that the iron-sulfur clusters in proteins such as IlvD and aconitase B may constitute the primary targets of the NO cytotoxicity under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. © The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Biochemical Society.

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Biochemical Journal

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