Molecular Mechanisms of Oxygen Activation and Hydrogen Peroxide Formation in Lytic Polysaccharide Monooxygenases

PS2 Poster session 2 Even numbers
Location (hall): 
Start/end time: 
Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - 15:45 to 17:15

Binju Wang1,2, Paul H. Walton3, Carme Rovira1,4

1Departament de Química Inorgànica i Orgànica. Universitat de Barcelona (UB), Barcelona, Spain, 2State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, 360015, P. R. , Xiamen, China, 3Department of Chemistry, University of York, Heslington, YO10 5DD, Heslington, United Kingdom, 4Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), Passeig Lluís Companys, 23, 08020, Barcelona, Spain

The lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) are copper-dependent enzymes for the degradation of recalcitrant polysaccharides such as chitin and cellulose. Unlike classical hydrolytic enzymes (cellulases), LPMOs catalyze the cleavage of the glycosidic bond via an oxidative mechanism using oxygen and a reductant. The full enzymatic molecular mechanisms, starting from the initial electron transfer from a reductant to oxygen activation and hydrogen peroxide formation, are not yet understood. Using QM/MM metadynamics simulations, we have uncovered the complete oxygen activation mechanisms by LPMO in the presence of ascorbic acid, one of the most used reductants in LPMOs assays. Our simulations capture the sequential formation of Cu(II)-O2- and Cu(II)-OOH- intermediates via facile H-atom abstraction from ascorbate. By investigating all the possible reaction pathways from the Cu(II)−OOH- intermediate, we ruled out Cu(II)-O•- formation via direct O-O cleavage of Cu(II)-OOH-. Meanwhile, we identified the exclusive pathway in which the proximal oxygen atom of Cu(II)−OOH- abstracts a hydrogen atom from ascorbate, leading to Cu(I) and H2O2. The “in situ” generated H2O2 either converts to LPMO-Cu(II)-O•- via a homolytic reaction, or diffuses into the bulk water in an uncoupled pathway. The competition of these two pathways is strongly dependent on the binding of the carbohydrate substrate, which plays a role in barricading the “in situ” generated H2O2 molecule, preventing its diffusion from the active site into the bulk water. Based on the present results, we propose a new catalytic cycle of LPMOs that is consistent with the experimental information available. In particular, it explains the enigmatic substrate-dependence of the reactivity of the LPMO with H2O2.