Prostacyclin synthase (PGIS) is a membrane-bound class III cytochrome P450 that catalyzes an isomerization of prostaglandin H 2, an endoperoxide, to prostacyclin. We report here the characterization of the PGIS intermediates in reactions with other peroxides, peracetic acid (PA), and iodosylbenzene. Rapid-scan stopped-flow experiments revealed an intermediate with an absorption spectrum similar to that of compound ES (Cpd ES), which is an oxo - ferryl (Fe(IV)=O) plus a protein-derived radical. Cpd ES, formed upon reaction with PA, has an X-band (9 GHz) EPR signal of g = 2.0047 and a half-saturation power, P 1/2, of 0.73 mW. High-field (130 GHz) EPR reveals the presence of two species of tyrosyl radicals in Cpd ES with their g-tensor components (g x, g y, g z) of 2.00970, 2.00433, 2.00211 and 2.00700, 2.00433, 2.00211 at a 1:2 ratio, indicating that one is involved in hydrogen bonding and the other is not. The line width of the g = 2 signal becomes narrower, while its P 1/2 value becomes smaller as the reaction proceeds, indicating migration of the unpaired electron to an alternative site. The rate of electron migration (∼0.2 s -1) is similar to that of heme bleaching, suggesting the migration is associated with the enzymatic inactivation. Moreover, a g = 6 signal that is presumably a high-spin ferric species emerges after the appearance of the amino acid radical and subsequently decays at a rate comparable to that of enzymatic inactivation. This loss of the g = 6 species thus likely indicates another pathway leading to enzymatic inactivation. The inactivation, however, was prevented by the exogenous reductant guaiacol. The studies of PGIS with PA described herein provide a mechanistic model of a peroxidase reaction catalyzed by the class III cytochromes P450.
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