Structure of a Zinc Porphyrin-Substituted Bacterioferritin and Photophysical Properties of Iron Reduction.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Biochemistry, Volume 59, Issue 16, p.1618-1629 (2020)


<p>The iron storage protein bacterioferritin (Bfr) binds up to 12 hemes at specific sites in its protein shell. The heme can be substituted with the photosensitizer Zn(II)-protoporphyrin IX (ZnPP), and photosensitized reductive iron release from the ferric oxyhydroxide {[FeO(OH)]} core inside the ZnPP-Bfr protein shell was demonstrated [Cioloboc, D., et al. (2018) , 178-187]. This report describes the X-ray crystal structure of ZnPP-Bfr and the effects of loaded iron on the photophysical properties of the ZnPP. The crystal structure of ZnPP-Bfr shows a unique six-coordinate zinc in the ZnPP with two axial methionine sulfur ligands. Steady state and transient ultraviolet-visible absorption and luminescence spectroscopies show that irradiation with light overlapping the Soret absorption causes oxidation of ZnPP to the cation radical ZnPP only when the ZnPP-Bfr is loaded with [FeO(OH)]. Femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy shows that this photooxidation occurs from the singlet excited state (ZnPP*) on the picosecond time scale and is consistent with two oxidizing populations of Fe, which do not appear to involve the ferroxidase center iron. We propose that [FeO(OH)] clusters at or near the inner surface of the protein shell are responsible for ZnPP photooxidation. Hopping of the photoinjected electrons through the [FeO(OH)] would effectively cause migration of Fe through the inner cavity to pores where it exits the protein. Reductive iron mobilization is presumed to be a physiological function of Bfrs. The phototriggered Fe reduction could be used to identify the sites of iron mobilization within the Bfr protein shell.</p>

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