The effect of pH and nitrite on the haem pocket of GLB-33, a globin-coupled neuronal transmembrane receptor of Caenorhabditis elegans.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Biochim Biophys Acta Proteins Proteom, Volume 1871, Issue 4, p.140913 (2023)


Animals, Caenorhabditis elegans, Globins, Heme, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Nitrites


Out of the 34 globins in Caenorhabditis elegans, GLB-33 is a putative globin-coupled transmembrane receptor with a yet unknown function. The globin domain (GD) contains a particularly hydrophobic haem pocket, that rapidly oxidizes to a low-spin hydroxide-ligated haem state at physiological pH. Moreover, the GD has one of the fastest nitrite reductase activity ever reported for globins. Here, we use a combination of electronic circular dichroism, resonance Raman and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy with mass spectrometry to study the pH dependence of the ferric form of the recombinantly over-expressed GD in the presence and absence of nitrite. The competitive binding of nitrite and hydroxide is examined as well as nitrite-induced haem modifications at acidic pH. Comparison of the spectroscopic results with data from other haem proteins allows to deduce the important effect of Arg at position E10 in stabilization of exogenous ligands. Furthermore, continuous-wave and pulsed EPR indicate that ligation of nitrite occurs in a nitrito mode at pH 5.0 and above. At pH 4.0, an additional formation of a nitro-bound haem form is observed along with fast formation of a nitri-globin.