An electron-spin-echo-detected, electron-paramagnetic-resonance study has been performed on the type 2 copper site of quercetin 2,3-dioxygenase from Aspergillus japonicus. In the protein, copper is coordinated by three histidine nitrogens and two sulfurs from the inhibitor diethyldithiocarbamate. A single crystal of the protein was studied at 95 GHz and the complete g-tensor determined. The electron-paramagnetic-resonance data are compatible with two orientations of the principal g-axes in the copper center, one of which is preferred on the basis of an analysis of the copper coordination and the d-orbitals that are involved in the unpaired-electron orbital. For this orientation, the principal z-axis of the g-tensor makes an angle of 19° with the Cu-N(His112) bond and the N of His112 may be considered the axial ligand. The singly occupied molecular orbital contains a linear combination of copper dxy and dyz-orbitals, which are antibonding with atomic orbitals of histidine nitrogens and diethyldithiocarbamate sulfurs. The orientation of the g-tensor for the quercetin 2,3-dioxygenase is compared with that for type 1 copper sites.
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