REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0492.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Biophysics; Spectroscopy; Physical Chemistry; Enzymes; Bioinorganic Chemistry
Online: 21 December 2020 (10:22:18 CET)
Earth-abundant transition metals like iron, nickel, copper, molybdenum, and vanadium have been identified as essential constituents of the cellular gas metabolism in all kingdoms of life. Associated with biological macromolecules, gas-processing metalloenzymes (GPMs) are formed that catalyse a variety of redox reactions. This includes the reduction of O2 to water by cytochrome c oxidase (‘complex IV’), the reduction of N2 to NH4 by nitrogenase, as well as the reduction of protons to H2 (and oxidation of the later) by hydrogenase. GPMs perform at ambient temperature and pressure, in the presence of water, and often extremely low educt concentrations, thus serving as natural examples for efficient catalysis. Facilitating the design of biomimetic catalysts, biophysicist thrive to understand the reaction principles of GPMs making use of various techniques. In this perspective, I will introduce Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy in attenuated total reflection configuration (ATR FTIR) for the analysis of GPMs like cytochrome c oxidase, nitrogenase, and hydrogenase. Infrared spectroscopy provides information about the geometry and redox state of the catalytic cofactors, the protonation state of amino acid residues, the hydrogen-bonding network, and protein structural changes. I developed an approach to probe and trigger the reaction of GPMs by gas exchange experiments, exploring the reactivity of these enzymes with their natural reactants. This allows recording sensitive ATR FTIR difference spectra with seconds time resolution. Finally yet importantly, infrared spectroscopy is an electronically non-invasive technique that allows investigating protein samples under biologically relevant conditions, i.e., at ambient temperature and pressure, and in the presence of water.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0253.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: Bioinorganic chemistry; metal-binding; structural biology; zinc; iron; copper; transition metals
Online: 17 June 2022 (09:30:07 CEST)
All living organisms require some metal ions for their energy production as well as metabolic and biosynthetic processes. Within cells, metal ions are involved in the formation of adducts interact with metabolites and macromolecules (proteins and nucleic acids). The proteins that require binding to one or more metal ions to be able to carry out their physiological function are called metalloproteins. About one third of all protein structures in the Protein Data Bank involve metalloproteins. Over the past few years there has been a tremendous progress in the number of computational tools and techniques making use of 3D structural information to support the investigation of metalloproteins. This trend has been boosted also by the successful applications of neural networks and deep learning approaches in molecular and structural biology at large. In this review, we discuss recent advances in the development and availability of resources dealing with metalloproteins from a structure-based perspective. We start by addressing tools for the prediction of metal-binding sites (MBSs) using structural information on apo-proteins. Then, we provide an overview of methods for and lessons learned from the structural comparison of MBSs in a fold-independent manner. We then move to describing databases of metalloprotein/MBS structures. Finally, we summarize recent DL applications enhancing the functional interpretation of metalloprotein structures.