Nuclear‐magnetic‐resonance investigation of the cooperative homodimeric hemoglobin from the mollusc Scapharca inaequivalvis Molecular and electronic structure of the cyano‐met derivative

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The proton nuclear‐magnetic‐resonance spectra of the cyano‐met complexes of the cooperative dimeric and tetrameric hemoglobins from the mollusk Scapharca inaequivalvis have been investigated and compared to those of other structurally characterized oxygen binding hemoproteins. For these proteins, cooperativity is displayed even in the homodimer and preliminary X‐ray structural data reveal an unusual back‐to‐front assembly with intersubunit contacts involving the EF helices [Royer, W. E., Love, W. E. & Fenderson, F. F. (1985) Nature (Lond.) 316, 277–280]. The pattern of hyperfine shifts is very similar for the dimer and tetramer chains, but distinctly different from those of previously characterized low‐spin, ferric heme proteins. Individual heme resonances are identified by reconstituting the protein with specifically deuterated hemes. While the axial interactions involving the proximal and distal histidines are very similar to that in myoglobins and other hemoglobins, both the heme contact shift pattern and the amino acid dipolar shift pattern reflect a significantly reduced asymmetry. The decreased spread of the non‐cordinated amino acid signals is interpreted in terms of a rotation of the magnetic axes relative to those in myoglobin or other hemoglobins, rather than a change in the magnetic anisotropy. The decreased spread of the heme methyl contact shifts supports this conclusion and is consistent with an orientation of the proximal histidine with the imidazole ring rotated by about 30–40° relative to that in other structurally characterized proteins. Although resonances associated with a complex pattern of alternate heme orientations can be detected immediately after reconstitution of the protein, the isolated protein was found to exhibit insignificant equilibrium heme rotational disorder. Copyright © 1989, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

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European Journal of Biochemistry

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