High-resolution structures of cholesterol oxidase in the reduced state provide insights into redox stabilization

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© 2014 International Union of Crystallography. Cholesterol oxidase (CO) is a flavoenzyme that catalyzes the oxidation and isomerization of cholesterol to cholest-4-en-3-one. The reductive half reaction occurs via a hydride transfer from the substrate to the FAD cofactor. The structures of CO reduced with dithionite under aerobic conditions and in the presence of the substrate 2-propanol under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions are presented. The 1.32 Å resolution structure of the dithionite-reduced enzyme reveals a sulfite molecule covalently bound to the FAD cofactor. The isoalloxazine ring system displays a bent structure relative to that of the oxidized enzyme, and alternate conformations of a triad of aromatic residues near to the cofactor are evident. A 1.12 Å resolution anaerobically trapped reduced enzyme structure in the presence of 2-propanol does not show a similar bending of the flavin ring system, but does show alternate conformations of the aromatic triad. Additionally, a significant difference electron-density peak is observed within a covalent-bond distance of N5 of the flavin moiety, suggesting that a hydride-transfer event has occurred as a result of substrate oxidation trapping the flavin in the electron-rich reduced state. The hydride transfer generates a tetrahedral geometry about the flavin N5 atom. High-level density-functional theory calculations were performed to correlate the crystallographic findings with the energetics of this unusual arrangement of the flavin moiety. These calculations suggest that strong hydrogen-bond interactions between Gly120 and the flavin N5 centre may play an important role in these structural features.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3155-3166
JournalActa Crystallographica. Section D: Biological Crystallography
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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