Methionine aminopeptidases (MetAPs) are ubiquitous metallohydrolases that remove the N-terminal methionine from nascent polypeptide chains. Although various crystal structures of MetAP in the presence of inhibitors have been solved, the structural aspects of the product-bound step has received little attention. Both perpendicular- and parallel-mode electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra were recorded for the MnII-loaded forms of the type-I (Escherichia coli) and type-II (Pyrococcus furiosus) MetAPs in the presence of the reaction product l-methionine (l-Met). In general, similar EPR features were observed for both [MnMn(EcMetAP-I)]−l-Met and [MnMn(PfMetAP-II)]−l-Met. The observed perpendicular-mode EPR spectra consisted of a six-line hyperfine pattern at g = 2.03 (A = 8.8 mT) with less intense signals with eleven-line splitting at g = 2.4 and 1.7 (A = 4.4 mT). The former feature results from mononuclear, magnetically isolated MnII ions and this signal are 3-fold more intense in the [MnMn(PfMetAP-II)]−l-Met EPR spectrum than in the [MnMn(EcMetAP-I)]−l-Met spectrum. Inspection of the EPR spectra of both [MnMn(EcMetAP-I)]−l-Met and [MnMn(PfMetAP-II)]−l-Met at 40 K in the parallel mode reveals that the [Mn(EcMetAP-I)]−l-Met spectrum exhibits a well-resolved hyperfine split pattern at g = 7.6 with a hyperfine splitting constant of A = 4.4 mT. These data suggest the presence of a magnetically coupled dinuclear MnII center. On the other hand, a similar feature was not observed for the [MnMn(PfMetAP-II)]−l-Met complex. Therefore, the EPR data suggest that l-Met binds to [MnMn(EcMetAP-I)] differently than [MnMn(PfMetAP-II)]. To confirm these data, the X-ray crystal structure of [MnMn(PfMetAP-II)]−l-Met was solved to 2.3 Å resolution. Both Mn1 and Mn2 reside in a distorted trigonal bipyramidal geometry, but the bridging water molecule, observed in the [CoCo(PfMetAP-II)] structure, is absent. Therefore, l-Met binding displaces this water molecule, but the carboxylate oxygen atom of l-Met does not bridge between the two MnII ions. Instead, a single carboxylate oxygen atom of l-Met interacts with only Mn1, while the N-terminal amine nitrogen atom binds to M2. This l-Met binding mode is different from that observed for l-Met binding [CoCo(EcMetAP-I)]. Therefore, the catalytic mechanisms of type-I MetAPs may differ somewhat from type-II enzymes when a dinuclear metalloactive site is present.
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