The di-iron core of mammalian purple acid phosphatases has been reproduced in the plant enzyme from kidney bean (Mr 111000) upon insertion of an Fe(II) ion in place of the native zinc(II) in the dinuclear Fe(III)Zn(II) core. The shortening of the electronic relaxation time of the metal centre allows detection of hyperfine-shifted 1H NMR resonances, although severe broadening due to Curie relaxation prevents independent signal assignment. Nevertheless, comparison of the spectral features of the structurally characterized plant enzyme with those of the mammalian species, which were previously extensively assigned, is consistent with a close similarity of the metal-binding sites, also suggested by previous sequence-alignment studies. Some differences appear to be mainly localized at the M(II) site. Spectral comparison was also carried out on the Fe(III)Co(II) derivatives.

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