The reduction potentials (E0) of type 1 (T1) or blue copper (BC) sites in proteins and enzymes with identical first coordination spheres around the redox active copper ion can vary by ∼400 mV. Here, we use a combination of low-temperature electronic absorption and magnetic circular dichroism, electron paramagnetic resonance, resonance Raman, and S K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopies to investigate a series of second-sphere variants-F114P, N47S, and F114N in Pseudomonas aeruginosa azurin-which modulate hydrogen bonding to and protein-derived dipoles nearby the Cu-S(Cys) bond. Density functional theory calculations correlated to the experimental data allow for the fractionation of the contributions to tuning E0 into covalent and nonlocal electrostatic components. These are found to be significant, comparable in magnitude, and additive for active H-bonds, while passive H-bonds are mostly nonlocal electrostatic in nature. For dipoles, these terms can be additive to or oppose one another. This study provides a methodology for uncoupling covalency from nonlocal electrostatics, which, when coupled to X-ray crystallographic data, distinguishes specific local interactions from more long-range protein/active interactions, while affording further insight into the second-sphere mechanisms available to the protein to tune the E0 of electron-transfer sites in biology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry