Author(s): Chen ZJ, Tian Z, Kallio K, Oleson AL, Ji A,
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Abstract Boronic acid and esters have been extensively utilized for molecular recognition and chemical sensing. We recently reported a genetically encoded peroxynitrite (ONOO(-))-specific fluorescent sensor, pnGFP, based on the incorporation of a boronic acid moiety into a circularly permuted green fluorescent protein (cpGFP) followed by directed protein evolution. Different from typical arylboronic acids and esters, the chromophore of pnGFP is unreactive to millimolar concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The focus of this study is to explore the mechanism for the observed unusual chemoselectivity of pnGFP toward peroxynitrite over hydrogen peroxide by using site-directed mutagenesis, X-ray crystallography, (11)B NMR, and computational analysis. Our data collectively support that a His residue on the protein scaffold polarizes a water molecule to induce the formation of an sp(3)-hybridized boron in the chromophore, thereby tuning the reactivity of pnGFP with various reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS). Our study demonstrates the first example of tunable boron chemistry in a folded nonnative protein, which offers wide implications in designing selective chemical probes.
This article was published in J Am Chem Soc
and referenced in Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics