Journal of biological inorganic chemistry : JBIC : a publication of the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry

Determination of ligand binding constants for the iron-molybdenum cofactor of nitrogenase: monomers, multimers, and cooperative behavior.

PMID 11681702


Equilibrium titrations in N-methylformamide (NMF) of G-25 gel filtered (ox)-state FeMo cofactor [FeMoco(ox)] from Azotobacter vinelandii nitrogenase were carried out using sodium ethanethiolate and followed using UV/Vis absorption spectroscopy. For Fe-Moco(ox), a non-linear least squares (NLLSQ) fit to the data indicated a strong equilibrium thiolate-binding step with Keq = 1.3+/-0.2x10(6) M(-1). With 245 molar excess imidazole, cooperative binding of three ethanethiolates was observed. The best NLLSQ fit gave Keq=2.0+/-0.1x10(5) M(-2) and a Hill coefficient n=2.0+/-0.3. A Scatchard plot of these data was concave upward, indicating positive cooperativity. The fit to previously published data involving benzenethiol titration of the one-electron reduced (semi-reduced) cofactor, FeMoco(sr), as followed by EPR required a model that included both a sub-stoichiometric ratio of thiol to FeMoco(sr) and about five cooperative ligand binding sites. These constraints were met by modeling FeMoco(sr) as an aggregate, with fewer thiol binding sites than FeMoco(sr) units. The best fit model was that of FeMoco(sr) as a dodecamer with five cooperative benzenethiol binding sites, yielding a thiol binding constant of 3.32+/-0.09x10(4) M(-4.8) and a Hill coefficient n=4.8+/-0.6. The results of all the other published ligand titrations of FeMoco(sr) were similarly analyzed successfully in terms of equilibrium models that include both cooperative ligand binding and dimer-level aggregation. A possible structural model for FeMoco aggregation in NMF solution is proposed.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

Sodium ethanethiolate, technical grade, 80%