Resonance Raman spectra of the α1β1 isoform of bovine lung soluble guanylate cyclase expressed from baculovirus have been measured. The spectra show that the ferric heme is five-coordinate high spin whereas the ferrous heme in the absence of added exogenous ligands is a mixture of six-coordinate low spin and five-coordinate high spin. In the Fe-CO-derivative, the correlation between the Fe-CO frequency (497 cm-1) and the C-O frequency (1959 cm-1) demonstrates that the proximal ligand in our preparation is histidine. The Fe-NO stretching frequency (found at 520 cm-1) and other spectral features of the ferrous Fe-NO-bound sGC are similar to those reported by Deinum et al. (1) and Yu et al. (2). These data indicate that although large preparation-dependent differences in the occupancy of the distal pocket exist, all the preparations have the same proximal histidine ligation and share the same mechanism of activation by NO.
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