ABSTRACT: Mammalian (Clade 3) catalases utilize NADPH as a protective cofactor to prevent one-electron reduction of the central reactive intermediate Compound I (Cpd I) to the catalytically inactive Compound II (Cpd II) species by re-reduction of Cpd I to the enzyme's resting state (ferricatalase). It has long been known that ascorbate/ascorbic acid is capable of reducing Cpd I of NADPH-binding catalases to Cpd II, but the mode of this one-electron reduction had hitherto not been explored. We here demonstrate that ascorbate-mediated reduction of Cpd I, generated by addition of peroxoacetic acid to NADPH-free bovine liver catalase (BLC), requires specific binding of the ascorbate anion to the NADPH binding pocket. Ascorbate-mediated Cpd II formation was found to be suppressed by added NADPH in a concentration-dependent manner, for the achievement of complete suppression at a stoichiometric 1:1 NADPH:heme concentration ratio. Cpd I → Cpd II reduction by ascorbate was similarly inhibited by addition of NADH, NADP(+), thio-NADP(+), or NAD(+), though with 0.5-, 0.1-, 0.1-, and 0.01-fold reduced efficiencies, respectively, in agreement with the relative binding affinities of these dinucleotides. Unexpected was the observation that although Cpd II formation is not observed in the presence of NADP(+), the decay of Cpd I is slightly accelerated by ascorbate rather than retarded, leading to direct regeneration of ferricatalase. The experimental findings are supported by molecular mechanics docking computations, which show a similar binding of NADPH, NADP(+), and NADH, but not NAD(+), as found in the X-ray structure of NADPH-loaded human erythrocyte catalase. The computations suggest that two ascorbate molecules may occupy the empty NADPH pocket, preferably binding to the adenine binding site. The biological relevance of these findings is discussed.
Biochemistry 05/2012; 51(23):4693-703. · 3.42 Impact Factor