Dynamic and structural differences between heme oxygenase-1 and -2 are due to differences in their C-terminal regions

Brent A. Kochert, Angela S. Fleischhacker, Thomas E. Wales, Donald F. Becker, John R. Engen, Stephen W. Ragsdale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Heme oxygenase (HO) catalyzes heme degradation, a process crucial for regulating cellular levels of this vital, but cytotoxic, cofactor. Two HO isoforms, HO1 and HO2, exhibit similar catalytic mechanisms and efficiencies. They also share catalytic core structures, including the heme-binding site. Outside their catalytic cores are two regions unique to HO2: a 20-amino acid- long N-terminal extension and a C-terminal domain containing two heme regulatory motifs (HRMs) that bind heme independently of the core. Both HO isoforms contain a C-terminal hydrophobic membrane anchor; however, their sequences diverge. Here, using hydrogen-deuterium exchange MS, sizeexclusion chromatography, and sedimentation velocity, we investigated how these divergent regions impact the dynamics and structure of the apo and heme-bound forms of HO1 and HO2. Our results reveal that heme binding to the catalytic cores of HO1 and HO2 causes similar dynamic and structural changes in regions (proximal, distal, and A6 helices) within and linked to the heme pocket. We observed that full-length HO2 is more dynamic than truncated forms lacking the membrane-anchoring region, despite sharing the same steady-state activity and heme-binding properties. In contrast, the membrane anchor of HO1did not influence its dynamics. Furthermore, although residues within the HRM domain facilitated HO2 dimerization, neither theHRMregion nor the N-terminal extension appeared to affect HO2 dynamics. In summary, our results highlight significant dynamic and structural differences between HO2 and HO1and indicate that their dissimilar C-terminal regions play a major role in controlling the structural dynamics of these two proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8259-8272
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 17 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamic and structural differences between heme oxygenase-1 and -2 are due to differences in their C-terminal regions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this