Nitrosyl hydride (HNO) replaces dioxygen in nitroxygenase activity of manganese quercetin dioxygenase

Murugaeson R. Kumar, Adrian Zapata, Alejandro J. Ramirez, Sara K. Bowen, Wilson A. Francisco, Patrick J. Farmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Quercetin dioxygenase (QDO) catalyzes the oxidation of the flavonol quercetin with dioxygen, cleaving the central heterocyclic ring and releasing CO. The QDO from Bacillus subtilis is unusual in that it has been shown to be active with several divalent metal cofactors such as Fe, Mn, and Co. Previous comparison of the catalytic activities suggest that Mn(II) is the preferred cofactor for this enzyme. We herein report the unprecedented substitution of nitrosyl hydride (HNO) for dioxygen in the activity of Mn-QDO, resulting in the incorporation of both N and O atoms into the product. Turnover is demonstrated by consumption of quercetin and other related substrates under anaerobic conditions in the presence of HNO-releasing compounds and the enzyme. As with dioxygenase activity, a nonenzymatic base-catalyzed reaction of quercetin with HNO is observed above pH 7, but no enhancement of this basal reactivity is found upon addition of divalent metal salts. Unique and regioselective N-containing products ( 14N/ 15N) have been characterized by MS analysis for both the enzymatic and nonenzymatic reactions. Of the several metallo-QDO enzymes examined for nitroxygenase activity under anaerobic condition, only the Mn(II) is active; the Fe(II) and Co(II) substituted enzymes show little or no activity. This result represents an enzymatic catalysis which we denote nitroxygenase activity; the unique reactivity of the Mn-QDO suggests a metal-mediated electron transfer mechanism rather than metal activation of the substrate's inherent base-catalyzed reactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18926-18931
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 22 2011


  • Nitroxyl
  • Quercetinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Nitrosyl hydride (HNO) replaces dioxygen in nitroxygenase activity of manganese quercetin dioxygenase'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this