Hemoglobins Likely Function as Peroxidase in Blood Clam Tegillarca granosa Hemocytes
The mammalian peroxidases eosinophil peroxidase, lactoperoxidase (LPO), and myeloperoxidase oxidize thiocyanate to the antimicrobial agents hypothiocyanous acid (HOSCN) and (SCN)2 and are part of a defense system that protects the host from infections. Horseradish peroxidase (HRP), a plant enzyme, also oxidizes thiocyanate. We report here that the prosthetic heme vinyl groups of HRP react with the catalytically generated HOSCN and (SCN)2 to form at least nine vinyl-modified heme adducts. Mass spectrometry combined with analysis of the equivalent reactions of HRP reconstituted with 2- or 4-cyclopropylheme, or mesoheme-d4, shows that all of the prosthetic heme modifications result from addition of oxidized thiocyanate to the heme vinyl groups. No delta-meso-substitution of the heme was observed, in contrast to what is observed with radical agents. Model studies show that incubation of either HRP with preformed HOSCN or a solution of heme with preformed (SCN)2 gives rise to the same products obtained in the HRP-catalyzed reaction. Model studies also demonstrate that the SCN* radical, if formed, should add to a meso-carbon. These findings implicate an electrophilic addition mechanism. In contrast, oxidation by LPO of thiocyanate, the normal substrate of this enzyme, does not result in heme modification. In view of the demonstrated intrinsic reactivity of the heme group, LPO must actively suppress heme modification. As the key difference between LPO (and other mammalian peroxidases) and HRP is the presence of two covalent ester links between the heme and the protein, we propose that these links contribute to steric protection of the adjacent heme vinyl groups.