Laser Photoexcitation of NAD(P)H Induces Reduction of P450 BM3 Heme Domain on the Microsecond Time Scale

Hazel M. Girvan, Derren J. Heyes, Nigel S. Scrutton, Andrew W. Munro

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15 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate that photoexcitation of NAD(P)H at 355 nm using a Nd:YAG laser leads to rapid reduction of the heme domain of the Bacillus megaterium fatty acid hydroxylase flavocytochrome P450 BM3. An aqueous electron derived from photoexcited NAD(P)H is rapidly transferred to the heme domain, enabling the formation of a carbon monoxy complex of the ferrous P450 (Fe II-CO) on the microsecond time scale. Using this approach we have determined the limiting rate constant (1770 s-1 for substrate-free heme domain) for formation of the FeII-CO complex. We find no dependence of the observed rate of FeII-CO complex formation on NAD(P)H concentration but demonstrate a hyperbolic dependence on carbon monoxide concentration. The apparent dissociation constant for the complex of carbon monoxide bound noncovalently to the ferric form of the BM3 heme domain (and with NADH as reductant) is 323 μM. Binding of a P450 substrate (N-palmitoylglycine) weakened the complex between carbon monoxide and the ferric BM3 heme domain (Kd increased to 1404 μM) but enhanced the rate of formation of the FeII-CO complex (3036 s-1 for substrate-free heme domain). This study demonstrates the applicability of NAD(P)H photoexcitation as a method for rapid electron delivery to P450 enzymes and provides a new route to probing the P450 catalytic cycle and its transient intermediates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6647-6653
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number20
Early online date28 Apr 2007
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007
Externally publishedYes


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