Cecilia Tommos

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The photosynthetic processes that lead to water oxidation involve an evolution in time from photon dynamics to photochemically-driven electron transfer to coupled electron/proton chemistry. The redox-active tyrosine, Y(Z), is the component at which the proton currents necessary for water oxidation are switched on. The thermodynamic and kinetic implications(More)
Recent magnetic-resonance work on YŻ suggests that this species exhibits considerable motional flexibility in its functional site and that its phenol oxygen is not involved in a well-ordered hydrogen-bond interaction (Tang et al., submitted; Tommos et al., in press). Both of these observations are inconsistent with a simple electron-transfer function for(More)
The oxidizing side of photosystem II contains two redox-active tyrosyl side chains, TyrZ and TyrD, and a cluster of Mn atoms involved in water oxidation. The structural environment of these components is unknown, and with computer-assisted modeling we have created a three-dimensional model for the structures around TyrZ and TyrD [Svensson et al. (1990) EMBO(More)
Catalytically essential side-chain radicals have been recognized in a growing number of redox enzymes. Here we present a novel approach to study this class of redox cofactors. Our aim is to construct a de novo protein, a radical maquette, that will provide a protein framework in which to investigate how side-chain radicals are generated, controlled, and(More)
A significant fraction of the proteins encoded by the human and other genomes appears to be significantly unfolded in vitro. This will undoubtedly hamper attempts to characterize their structure by classical crystallographic or solution NMR methods. Here we show that encapsulation of a metastable protein within the restricted volume a reverse micelle can be(More)
Enzymes that require a redox-active amino acid for catalysis or function have emerged as a distinct class of proteins. For the tyrosine-based radical enzymes, we show that the spin-density distribution in the radical follows an odd alternate pattern that is invariant to within 10% across the class. General properties of the radical enzymes are summarized(More)
De novo protein design and electrochemistry were used to measure changes in the potential and pK(A) of a phenol when its OH group is moved from a solvent-exposed to a sequestered protein position. A "phenol rotation strategy" was adopted in which phenols, containing a SH in position 4, 3, or 2 relative to the OH group, were bound to a buried protein site.(More)
This report describes a model protein specifically tailored to electrochemically study the reduction potential of protein tyrosine radicals as a function of pH. The model system is based on the 67-residue α(3)Y three-helix bundle. α(3)Y contains a single buried tyrosine at position 32 and displays structural properties inherent to a protein. The present(More)
Photosystem II evolves oxygen by using water in the unlikely role of a reductant. The absorption of sunlight by chlorophyll produces highly oxidizing equivalents that are filled with electrons stripped from water. This proton-coupled redox chemistry occurs at the oxygen-evolving complex, which contains a tetramanganese cluster, a redox-active tyrosine amino(More)
Amino-acid radicals are involved in the catalytic cycles of a number of enzymes. The main focus of this mini-review is to discuss the function and properties of tyrosyl radical cofactors. We start by briefly summarizing the experimental studies that led to the detection and identification of the two redox-active tyrosines, denoted Y(Z) and Y(D), found in(More)