The conserved active-site loop residues of ferrochelatase induce porphyrin conformational changes necessary for catalysis.
Binding of porphyrin to murine ferrochelatase, the terminal enzyme of the heme biosynthetic pathway, is investigated by employing a set of variants harboring mutations in a putative porphyrin-binding loop. Using resonance Raman (RR) spectroscopy, the structural properties of the ferrochelatase-bound porphyrins are examined, especially with respect to the porphyrin deformation occurring in the environment of the active site. This deformation is thought to be a key step in the enzymatic insertion of ferrous iron into the porphyrin ring to make heme. Our previous RR spectroscopic studies of binding of porphyrin to murine ferrochelatase led us to propose that the wild-typemore »