Examination of abiotic cofactor assembly in photosynthetic biomimetics: site-specific stereoselectivity in the conjugation of a ruthenium(II) tris(bipyridine) photosensitizer to a multi-heme protein.


Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Argonne, IL, 60439, USA. [Email]


To understand design principles for assembling photosynthetic biohybrids that incorporate precisely-controlled sites for electron injection into redox enzyme cofactor arrays, we investigated the influence of chirality in assembly of the photosensitizer ruthenium(II)bis(2,2'-bipyridine)(4-bromomethyl-4'-methyl-2,2'-bipyridine), Ru(bpy)2(Br-bpy), when covalently conjugated to cysteine residues introduced by site-directed mutagenesis in the triheme periplasmic cytochrome A (PpcA) as a model biohybrid system. For two investigated conjugates that show ultrafast electron transfer, A23C-Ru and K29C-Ru, analysis by circular dichroism spectroscopy, CD, demonstrated site-specific chiral discrimination as a factor emerging from the close association between [Ru(bpy)3]2+ and heme cofactors. CD analysis showed the A23C-Ru and K29C-Ru conjugates to have distinct, but opposite, stereoselectivity for the Λ and Δ-Ru(bpy)2(Br-bpy) enantiomers, with enantiomeric excesses of 33.1% and 65.6%, respectively. In contrast, Ru(bpy)2(Br-bpy) conjugation to a protein site with high flexibility, represented by the E39C-Ru construct, exhibited a nearly negligible chiral selectivity, measured by an enantiomeric excess of 4.2% for the Λ enantiomer. Molecular dynamics simulations showed that site-specific stereoselectivity reflects steric constraints at the conjugating sites and that a high degree of chiral selectivity correlates to reduced structural disorder for [Ru(bpy)3]2+ in the linked assembly. This work identifies chiral discrimination as means to achieve site-specific, precise geometric positioning of introduced photosensitizers relative to the heme cofactors in manner that mimics the tuning of cofactors in photosynthesis.


Circular dichroism spectroscopy,Enantiomer,Multi-heme protein,Periplasmic cytochrome A,Photosynthetic biomimetics,Ruthenium(II) tris(bipyridine),Stereoselectivity,

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