Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Chemistry

First Advisor's Name

Xiaotang Wang

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Noriega Fernando

Third Advisor's Name

Watson Lees

Fourth Advisor's Name

Bruce McCord

Fifth Advisor's Name

Kathleen Rein

Keywords

chloroperoxidase. enantioselectivity, site-directed mutagenesis, epoxidation, F103A

Date of Defense

4-8-2011

Abstract

Mechanistically and structurally chloroperoxidase (CPO) occupies a unique niche among heme containing enzymes. Chloroperoxidase catalyzes a broad range of reactions, such as oxidation of organic substrates, dismutation of hydrogen peroxide, and mono-oxygenation of organic molecules. To expand the synthetic utility of CPO and to appreciate the important interactions that lead to CPO’s exceptional properties, a site-directed mutagenesis study was undertaken.

Recombinant CPO and CPO mutants were heterologously expressed in Aspergillus niger. The overall protein structure was almost the same as that of wild type CPO, as determined by UV-vis, NMR and CD spectroscopies. Phenylalanine103, which was proposed to regulate substrate access to the active site by restricting the size of substrates and to control CPO’s enantioselectivity, was mutated to Ala. The ligand binding affinity and most importantly the catalytic activity of F103A was dramatically different from wild type CPO. The mutation essentially eliminated the chlorination and dismutation activities but enhanced, 4-10 fold, the epoxidation, peroxidation, and N-demethylation activities. As expected, the F103A mutant displayed dramatically improved epoxidation activity for

larger, more branched styrene derivatives. Furthermore, F103A showed a distinctive enantioselectivity profile: losing enantioselectivity to styrene and cis-β-methylstyrene; having a different configuration preference on α-methylstyrene; showing higher enatioselectivites and conversion rates on larger, more branched substrates. Our results show that F103 acts as a switch box that controls the catalytic activity, substrate specificity, and product enantioselectivity of CPO. Given that no other mutant of CPO has displayed distinct properties, the results with F103A are dramatic.

The diverse catalytic activity of CPO has long been attributed to the presence of the proximal thiolate ligand. Surprisingly, a recent report on a C29H mutant suggested otherwise. A new CPO triple mutant C29H/C79H/C87H was prepared, in which all the cysteines were replaced by histidine to eliminate the possibility of cysteine coordinating to the heme. No active form protein was isolated, although, successful transformation and transcription was confirmed. The result suggests that Cys79 and Cys87 are critical to maintaining the structural scaffold of CPO.

In vitro biodegradation of nanotubes by CPO were examined by scanning electron microscope method, but little oxidation was observed.

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