Staphylococcus aureus uses IsdG and IsdI to convert heme into a mixture of staphylobilin isomers, 15-oxo-β-bilirubin and 5-oxo-Î-bilirubin, formaldehyde, and iron. The highly ruffled heme found in the heme-IsdI and IsdG complexes has been proposed to be responsible for the unique heme degradation products. We employed resonance Raman (RR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopies to examine the coordination and electronic structures of heme bound to IsdG and IsdI. Heme complexed to IsdG and IsdI is coordinated by a neutral histidine. The trans ligand is hydroxide in the ferric alkaline form of both proteins. In the ferric neutral form at pH 6.0, heme is six-coordinated with water as the sixth ligand for IsdG and is in the mixture of the five-coordinated and six-coordinated species for IsdI. In the ferrous CO-bound form, CO is strongly hydrogen bonded with a distal residue. The marker lines, ν2 and ν3, appear at frequencies that are distinct from other proteins having planar hemes. The EPR spectra for the ferric hydroxide and cyanide states might be explained by assuming the thermal mixing of the d-electron configurations, (dxy)2(dxz,dyz)3 and (dxz,dyz)4(dxy)1. The fraction for the latter becomes larger for the ferric cyanide form. In the ferric neutral state at pH 6.0, the quantum mechanical mixing of the high and intermediate spin configurations might explain the peculiar frequencies of ν2 and ν3 in the RR spectra. The heme ruffling imposed by IsdG and IsdI gives rise to unique electronic structures of heme, which are expected to modulate the first and subsequent steps of the heme oxygenation.
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