In crystallo thermodynamic analysis of conformational change of the topaquinone cofactor in bacterial copper amine oxidase

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Jan 2;116(1):135-140. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1811837116. Epub 2018 Dec 18.


In the catalytic reaction of copper amine oxidase, the protein-derived redox cofactor topaquinone (TPQ) is reduced by an amine substrate to an aminoresorcinol form (TPQamr), which is in equilibrium with a semiquinone radical (TPQsq). The transition from TPQamr to TPQsq is an endothermic process, accompanied by a significant conformational change of the cofactor. We employed the humid air and glue-coating (HAG) method to capture the equilibrium mixture of TPQamr and TPQsq in noncryocooled crystals of the enzyme from Arthrobacter globiformis and found that the equilibrium shifts more toward TPQsq in crystals than in solution. Thermodynamic analyses of the temperature-dependent equilibrium also revealed that the transition to TPQsq is entropy-driven both in crystals and in solution, giving the thermodynamic parameters that led to experimental determination of the crystal packing effect. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the binding of product aldehyde to the hydrophobic pocket in the active site produces various equilibrium states among two forms of the product Schiff-base, TPQamr, and TPQsq, in a pH-dependent manner. The temperature-controlled HAG method provides a technique for thermodynamic analysis of conformational changes occurring in protein crystals that are hardly scrutinized by conventional cryogenic X-ray crystallography.

Keywords: conformational change; copper amine oxidase; crystal structure; thermodynamic analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amine Oxidase (Copper-Containing) / chemistry*
  • Arthrobacter / enzymology*
  • Catalysis
  • Coenzymes / chemistry
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine / chemistry
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Temperature
  • Thermodynamics
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Coenzymes
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine
  • 6-hydroxydopa quinone
  • Amine Oxidase (Copper-Containing)

Associated data

  • PDB/5ZP5
  • PDB/5ZP9
  • PDB/5ZPA
  • PDB/5ZPI
  • PDB/5ZOU
  • PDB/5ZOW
  • PDB/5ZOZ
  • PDB/5ZP0
  • PDB/5ZP4
  • PDB/5ZPJ
  • PDB/5ZPT