Structural and functional properties of a truncated hemoglobin from a food-borne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni

Changyuan Lu, Tsuyoshi Egawa, Laura M. Wainwright, Robert K. Poole, Syun Ru Yeh

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58 Scopus citations


Campylobacter jejuni contains two hemoglobins, Cgb and Ctb. Cgb has been suggested to perform an NO detoxification reaction to protect the bacterium against NO attack. On the other hand, the physiological function of Ctb, a class III truncated hemoglobin, remains unclear. By using CO as a structural probe, resonance Raman data show that the distal heme pocket of Ctb exhibits a positive electrostatic potential. In addition, two ligand-related vibrational modes, νFe-O2 and νO-O, were identified in the oxy derivative, with frequencies at 542 and 1132 cm-1, respectively, suggesting the presence of an intertwined H-bonding network surrounding the heme-bound ligand, which accounts for its unusually high oxygen affinity (222 μM-1). Mutagenesis studies of various distal mutants suggest that the heme-bound dioxygen is stabilized by H-bonds donated from the Tyr(B10) and Trp(G8) residues, which are highly conserved in the class III truncated hemoglobins; furthermore, an additional H-bond donated from the His(E7) to the Tyr(B10) further regulates these H-bonding interactions by restricting the conformational freedom of the phenolic side chain of the Tyr(B10). Taken together, the data suggest that it is the intricate balance of the H-bonding interactions that determines the unique ligand binding properties of Ctb. The extremely high oxygen affinity of Ctb makes it unlikely to function as an oxygen transporter; on the other hand, the distal heme environment of Ctb is surprisingly similar to that of cytochrome c peroxidase, suggesting a role of Ctb in performing a peroxidase or P450-type of oxygen chemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13627-13636
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 4 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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