Protein/protein interactions in the mammalian heme degradation pathway: Heme oxygenase-2, cytochrome P450 reductase, and biliverdin reductase

Andrea L.M. Spencer, Ireena Bagai, Donald F. Becker, Erik R.P. Zuiderweg, Stephen W. Ragsdale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Heme oxygenase (HO) catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the O2-dependent degradation of heme to biliverdin, CO, and iron with electrons delivered from NADPH via cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR). Biliverdin reductase (BVR) then catalyzes conversion of biliverdin to bilirubin. We describe mutagenesis combined with kinetic, spectroscopic (fluorescence and NMR), surface plasmon resonance, cross-linking, gel filtration, and analytical ultracentrifugation studies aimed at evaluating interactions of HO-2 with CPR and BVR. Based on these results, we propose a model in which HO-2 and CPR form a dynamic ensemble of complex(es) that precede formation of the productive electron transfer complex. The 1H-15N TROSY NMR spectrum of HO-2 reveals specific residues, including Leu-201, near the heme face of HO-2 that are affected by the addition of CPR, implicating these residues at the HO/CPR interface. Alanine substitutions at HO-2 residues Leu-201 and Lys-169 cause a respective 3- and 22-fold increase in Km values for CPR, consistent with a role for these residues in CPR binding. Sedimentation velocity experiments confirm the transient nature of the HO-2·CPR complex (Kd = 15.1 μM). Our results also indicate that HO-2 and BVR form a very weak complex that is only captured by cross-linking. For example, under conditions where CPR affects the 1H-15N TROSY NMR spectrum of HO-2, BVR has no effect. Fluorescence quenching experiments also suggest that BVR binds HO-2 weakly, if at all, and that the previously reported high affinity of BVR for HO is artifactual, resulting from the effects of free heme (dissociated from HO) on BVR fluorescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29836-29858
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume289
Issue number43
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 24 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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