Generation and characterization of functional phosphoserine-incorporated neuronal nitric oxide synthase holoenzyme

Huayu Zheng, Jingxuan He, Jinghui Li, Jing Yang, Martin L. Kirk, Linda J. Roman, Changjian Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Phosphorylation is an important pathway for the regulation of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) at the posttranslational level. However, the molecular underpinnings of NOS regulation by phosphorylations remain unclear to date, mainly because of the problems in making a good amount of active phospho-NOS proteins. Herein, we have established a system in which recombinant rat nNOS holoprotein can be produced with site-specific incorporation of phosphoserine (pSer) at residue 1412, using a specialized bacterial host strain for pSer incorporation. The pSer1412 nNOS protein demonstrates UV–Vis, far-UV CD and fluorescence spectral properties that are identical to those of nNOS overexpressed in other bacterial strains. The protein is also functional, possessing normal NO production and NADPH oxidation activities in the presence of abundant substrate l-Arg. Conversely, the rate of FMN–heme interdomain electron transfer (IET) in pSer1412 nNOS is considerably lower than that of wild-type (wt) nNOS, while the phosphomimetic S1142E mutant possesses similar electron transfer kinetics to that of wt. The successful incorporation and high yield of pSer1412 into rat nNOS and the significant change in the IET kinetics upon the phosphorylation demonstrate a highly useful method for incorporating native phosphorylation sites as a substantial improvement to commonly used phosphomimetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Electron transfer
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • Phosphomimetic
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phosphoserine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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