Biochimica et biophysica acta

Intraprotein electron transfer between the FMN and heme domains in endothelial nitric oxide synthase holoenzyme.

PMID 21864726


Intraprotein electron transfer (IET) from flavin mononucleotide (FMN) to heme is an essential step in nitric oxide (NO) synthesis by NO synthase (NOS). The IET kinetics in neuronal and inducible NOS (nNOS and iNOS) holoenzymes have been previously determined in our laboratories by laser flash photolysis [reviewed in: C.J. Feng, G. Tollin, Dalton Trans., (2009) 6692-6700]. Here we report the kinetics of the IET in a bovine endothelial NOS (eNOS) holoenzyme in the presence and absence of added calmodulin (CaM). The IET rate constant in the presence of CaM is estimated to be ~4.3s(-1). No IET was observed in the absence of CaM, indicating that CaM is the primary factor in controlling the FMN-heme IET in the eNOS enzyme. The IET rate constant value for the eNOS holoenzyme is approximately 10 times smaller than those obtained for the iNOS and CaM-bound nNOS holoenzymes. Possible mechanisms underlying the difference in IET kinetics among the NOS isoforms are discussed. Because the rate-limiting step in the IET process in these enzymes is the conformational change from input state to output state, a slower conformational change (than in the other isoforms) is most likely to cause the slower IET in eNOS.