Catalytic Determinants of Alkene Production by the Cytochrome P450 Peroxygenase OleTJE

Sarah Matthews, James D. Belcher, Kang Lan Tee, Hazel M. Girvan, Kirsty J. McLean, Stephen E.J. Rigby, Colin W. Levy, David Leys, David A. Parker, Richard T. Blankley, Andrew W. Munro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


The Jeotgalicoccus sp. peroxygenase cytochrome P450 OleTJE (CYP152L1) is a hydrogen peroxide-driven oxidase that catalyzes oxidative decarboxylation of fatty acids, producing terminal alkenes with applications as fine chemicals and biofuels. Understanding mechanisms that favor decarboxylation over fatty acid hydroxylation in OleTJE could enable protein engineering to improve catalysis or to introduce decarboxylation activity into P450s with different substrate preferences. In this manuscript, we have focused on OleTJE active site residues Phe79, His85, and Arg245 to interrogate their roles in substrate binding and catalytic activity. His85 is a potential proton donor to reactive iron-oxo species during substrate decarboxylation. The H85Q mutant substitutes a glutamine found in several peroxygenases that favor fatty acid hydroxylation. H85Q OleTJE still favors alkene production, suggesting alternative protonation mechanisms. However, the mutant undergoes only minor substrate binding-induced heme iron spin state shift toward high spin by comparison with WT OleTJE, indicating the key role of His85 in this process. Phe79 interacts with His85, and Phe79 mutants showed diminished affinity for shorter chain (C10-C16) fatty acids and weak substrate-induced high spin conversion. F79A OleTJE is least affected in substrate oxidation, whereas the F79W/Y mutants exhibit lower stability and cysteine thiolate protonation on reduction. Finally, Arg245 is crucial for binding the substrate carboxylate, and R245E/L mutations severely compromise activity and heme content, although alkene products are formed from some substrates, including stearic acid (C18:0). The results identify crucial roles for the active site amino acid trio in determining OleTJE catalytic efficiency in alkene production and in regulating protein stability, heme iron coordination, and spin state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5128-5143
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number12
Early online date4 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


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