Chemical modification of chloroperoxidase with diethylpyrocarbonate: Evidence for the presence of an essential histidine residue

S. R. Blanke, L. P. Hager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chloroperoxidase from Caldariomyces fumago is well documented as an extremely versatile catalyst, and studies are currently being conducted to delineate the fine structural features that allow the enzyme to possess chemical and physical similarities to the peroxidases, catalases, and P-450 cytochromes. Earlier investigations of ligand binding to the heme iron of chloroperoxidase, along with the presence of an invariant distal histidine residue in the active site of peroxidases and catalases, have led to the hypothesis that chloroperoxidase also possesses an essential histidine residue that may participate in catalysis. To address this in a more direct fashion, chemical modification studies were initiated with diethylpyrocarbonate. Incubation of chloroperoxidase with this reagent resulted in a time-dependent inactivation of enzyme. Kinetic analysis revealed that the inactivation was due to a simple bimolecular reaction. The rate of inactivation exhibited a pH dependence, indicating that modification of a titratable residue with a pKa value of 6.91 was responsible for inactivation; this data provided strong evidence for histidine derivatization by diethylpyrocarbonate. To further support these results, inactivation due to cysteine, tyrosine, or lysine modification was ruled out. The stoichiometry of histidine modification was estimated by the increase in absorption at 246 nm, and it was found that more than 1 histidine residue was derivatized when chloroperoxidase was inactivated with diethylpyrocarbonate. However, it was shown that the rates of modification and inactivation were not equivalent. This was interpreted to reflect that both essential and nonessential histidine residues were modified by diethylpyrocarbonate. Kinetic analysis indicated that modification of a single essential histidine residue was responsible for inactivation of the enzyme. Studies with [14C]diethylpyrocarbonate provided stoichiometric support that derivatization of a single histidine inactivated chloroperoxidase. Based on sequence homology with cytochrome c peroxidase, histidine 38 was identified as a likely candidate for the distal residue. Molecular modeling, based on secondary structure predictions, allows for the construction of an active site peptide, and implicates a number of other residues that may participate in catalysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12454-12461
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - Jul 25 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Chemical modification of chloroperoxidase with diethylpyrocarbonate: Evidence for the presence of an essential histidine residue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this