Ascorbate peroxidase (APX) is a class I heme peroxidase. It has two sites for binding of substrates. One is close to the γ-heme edge and is used for oxidation of ascorbate; the other is at the δ-heme edge and is used for binding of aromatic substrates [Gumiero et al., (2010) Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 500, 13–20]. In this work, we have examined the structural factors that control binding at the δ-heme edge by replacement of Ala134 in APX with a proline residue that is more commonly found in other class II and III peroxidases. Kinetic data indicate that replacement of Ala134 by proline has only a small effect on the catalytic mechanism, or the oxidation of ascorbate or guaiacol. Chemical modification with phenylhydrazine indicates that heme accessibility close to the δ-heme edge is only minorly affected by the substitution. We conclude that the A134P mutation alone is not enough to substantially affect the reactivity of APX towards aromatic substrates bound at the δ-heme edge. The data are relevant to the recent application of APX (APEX) in cellular imaging.
- Ascorbate peroxidase