Using Raman spectroscopy to monitor the solvent-exposed and "buried" forms of flavin in p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase.Biochemistry. 1999 Dec 21; 38(51):16727-32.B
X-ray crystallographic studies of several complexes involving FAD bound to p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase (PHBH) have revealed that the isoalloxazine ring system of FAD is capable of adopting in two positions on the protein. In one, the "in" form, the ring is surrounded by protein groups and has little contact with solvent; in the second, "out" form, the ring is largely solvent exposed. Using Raman difference spectroscopy, it has been possible to obtain Raman spectra for the flavin ring in both conformational states for different complexes in solution. The spectra consist of a rich assortment of isoalloxazine ring modes whose normal mode origin can be assigned by using density functional theory and ab initio calculations. Further insight into the sensitivity of these modes to changes in environment is provided by the Raman spectra of lumiflavin in the solid state, in DMSO and in aqueous solution. For the protein complexes, the Raman difference spectra of flavin bound to wt PHBH and wt PHBH plus substrate, p-hydroxybenzoate, provided examples of the "in" conformation. These data are compared to those for flavin bound to wt PHBH plus 2,4-dihydroxybenzoate, where X-ray analysis show that the flavin is "out". There are several spectral regions where characteristic differences exist for flavin in the "in" or "out" conformation, these occur near 1700, 1500, 1410, 1350, 1235, and 1145 cm(-)(1). These spectral features can be used as empirical marker bands to determine the populations of "in" and "out" for any complex of PHBH and to monitor changes in those populations with perturbations to the system, e.g., by changing temperature or pH. Thus, it will now be possible to determine the conformational state of the flavin in PHBH for those complexes that have resisted X-ray crystallographic analysis. Raman difference data are also presented for the Tyr222Phe mutant. The Raman data show that the isoalloxazine ring is predominantly "out" for Tyr222Phe. However, in the presence of the substrate p-hydroxybenzoate there is clear evidence from the Raman marker bands that a mixed population of "in" and "out" exists with the majority being in the "out" state. This is consistent with the conclusions drawn from crystallographic studies on this complex (Gatti, D. L., Palfey, B. A., Lah, M. S., Entsch, B., Massey, V., Ballou, D. P., and Ludwig, M. L. (1994) Science, 266, 110-114).