Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Xiaotang Wang

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

David Chatfield

Third Advisor's Name

Kevin O'Shea

Fourth Advisor's Name

Jaroslava Miksovska

Fifth Advisor's Name

Lou Kim


Chloroperoxidase, N74V, N74Q, H105A, HPLC, Enantioselectivity, Deuterated, Isotopic labeling, Site-directed Mutagenesis

Date of Defense



Chloroperoxidase (CPO) is a heme-containing glycoprotein secreted by the marine fungus Caldariomyces fumago. Chloroperoxidase contains one ferriprotoporphyrin IX prosthetic group per molecule and catalyzes a variety of reactions, such as halogenation, peroxidation and epoxidation. The versatile catalytic activities of CPO coupled with the increasing demands for chiral synthesis have attracted an escalating interest in understanding the mechanistic and structural properties of this enzyme.

In order to better understand the mechanisms of CPO-catalyzed enantioselective reactions and to fine-tune the catalytic properties of chloroperoxidase, asparagine 74 (N74) located in the narrow substrate access channel of CPO was replaced by a bulky, nonpolar valine and a polar glutamine using site-directed mutagenesis. The CPO N74 mutants displayed significantly enhanced activity toward nonpolar substrates compared to wild-type CPO as a result of changes in space and polarity of the heme distal environment. More interestingly, N74 mutants showed dramatically decreased chlorination and catalase activity but significantly enhanced epoxidation activity as a consequence of improved kinetic perfection introduced by the mutation as reflected by the favorable changes in kcat and kcat/KM of these reactions. It is also noted that the N74V mutant is capable of decomposing cyanide, the most notorious poison for many hemoproteins, as judged by the unique binding behavior of N74V with potassium cyanide.

Histidine 105 (H105) was replaced by a nonpolar amino acid alanine using site-directed mutagenesis. The CPO H105 mutant (H105A) displayed dramatically decreased chlorination and catalase activity possibly because of the decreased polarity in the heme distal environment and loss of the hydrogen bonds between histidine 105 and glutamic acid 183. However, significantly increased enantioselectivity was observed for the epoxidation of bulky styrene derivatives. Furthermore, my study provides strong evidence for the proposed histidine/cysteine ligand switch in chloroperoxidase, providing experimental support for the structure of the 420-nm absorption maximum for a number of carbon monoxide complexes of heme-thiolate proteins.

For the NMR study, [dCPO(heme)] was produced using 90% deuterated growth medium with excess heme precursors and [dCPO(Phe)] was grown in the same highly deuterated medium that had been supplemented with excess natural phenylalanine. To make complete heme proton assignments, NMR spectroscopy has been performed for high-resolution structural characterization of [dCPO(heme)] and [dCPO(Phe)] to achieve unambiguous and complete heme proton assignments, which also allows important amino acids close to the heme active center to be determined.





Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).