NMR Study of the Molecular and Electronic Structure of the Heme Cavity of Aplysia Metmyoglobin. Resonance Assignments Based on Isotope Labeling and Proton Nuclear Overhauser Effect Measurements

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The 1H NMR characteristics of the high-spin metmyoglobin from the mollusc Aplysia limacina have been investigated and compared with those of the myoglobin (Mb) from sperm whale. Aplysia metMb exhibits a normal acid ↔ alkaline transition with pK~ 7.8. In the acidic form, the heme methyl and meso proton resonances have been assigned by 1H NMR using samples reconstituted with selectively deuterated hemins and in the latter case by 2H NMR as well. On the basis of the methyl peak intensities and shift pattern, heme rotational disorder could be established in Aplysia Mb; ~20% of the protein exhibits a reversed heme orientation compared to that found in single crystals. Three meso proton resonances have been detected in the upfield region between -16 and -35 ppm, showing that the chemical shift of such protons can serve as a diagnostic probe for a pentacoordinated active site in hemoproteins, as previously shown to be the case in model compounds. The temperature dependence of the chemical shift of the meso proton signals deviates strongly from the T-1 Curie behavior, reflecting the presence of a thermally accessible Kramers doublet with significant S = 3/2 character. Nuclear Overhauser effect, NOE, measurements on Aplysia metMb have provided the assignment of individual heme a-propionate resonances and were used to infer spatial proximity among heme side chains. The hyperfine shift values for assigned resonances, the NOE connectivities, and the NOE magnitudes were combined to reach a qualitative picture of the rotational mobility and the orientation of the vinyl and propionate side chains of Aplysia metMb relative to sperm whale MbH20. Thus, it was found that the heme side chains are sterically less clamped in the former protein. © 1986, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

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