Catalytic enhancement of the heme-based oxygen-sensing phosphodiesterase EcDOS by hydrogen sulfide is caused by changes in heme coordination structure

Biometals. 2015 Aug;28(4):637-52. doi: 10.1007/s10534-015-9847-7. Epub 2015 Mar 25.


EcDOS is a heme-based O2-sensing phosphodiesterase in which O2 binding to the heme iron complex in the N-terminal domain substantially enhances catalysis toward cyclic-di-GMP, which occurs in the C-terminal domain. Here, we found that hydrogen sulfide enhances the catalytic activity of full-length EcDOS, possibly owing to the admixture of 6-coordinated heme Fe(III)-SH(-) and Fe(II)-O2 complexes generated during the reaction. Alanine substitution at Met95, the axial ligand for the heme Fe(II) complex, converted the heme Fe(III) complex into the heme Fe(III)-SH(-) complex, but the addition of Na2S did not further reduce it to the heme Fe(II) complex of the Met95Ala mutant, and no subsequent formation of the heme Fe(II)-O2 complex was observed. In contrast, a Met95His mutant formed a stable heme Fe(II)-O2 complex in response to the same treatment. An Arg97Glu mutant, containing a glutamate substitution at the amino acid that interacts with O2 in the heme Fe(II)-O2 complex, formed a stable heme Fe(II) complex in response to Na2S, but this complex failed to bind O2. Interestingly, the addition of Na2S promoted formation of verdoheme (oxygen-incorporated, modified protoporphyrin IX) in an Arg97Ile mutant. Catalytic enhancement by Na2S was similar for Met95 mutants and the wild type, but significantly lower for the Arg97 mutants. Thus, this study shows the first isolation of spectrometrically separated, stable heme Fe(III)-SH(-), heme Fe(II) and heme Fe(II)-O2 complexes of full-length EcDOS with Na2S, and confirms that external-ligand-bound, 6-coordinated heme Fe(III)-SH(-) or heme Fe(II)-O2 complexes critically contribute to the Na2S-induced catalytic enhancement of EcDOS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biocatalysis / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / chemistry
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism*
  • Heme / chemistry*
  • Heme / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / pharmacology*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / chemistry
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / metabolism*


  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Heme
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
  • dosP protein, E coli
  • Hydrogen Sulfide