The Journal of biological chemistry 2017 05 12() pii 10.1074/jbc.M117.783118
Rev-erbβ is a heme-responsive transcription factor that regulates genes involved in circadian rhythm maintenance and metabolism, effectively bridging these critical cellular processes. Heme binding to Rev-erbβ indirectly facilitates its interaction with nuclear receptor corepressor (NCoR1), resulting in repression of Rev-erbβ target genes. Fe(3+)-heme binds as a 6-coordinate complex with axial His and Cys ligands, the latter provided by a heme regulatory motif (HRM). Rev-erbβ was thought to be a heme sensor based on a weak Kd for the Rev-erbβ-heme complex of 2 μM determined with isothermal titration calorimetry. However, our group demonstrated with UV-visible difference titrations that the Kd value is in the low nanomolar range, and the Fe(3+)-heme off-rate is on the order of 10(-6) s(-1) making Rev-erbβ ineffective as a sensor of Fe(3+)-heme. In this study, we dissected the kinetics of heme binding to Rev-erbβ and provide a Kd for Fe(3+)-heme of ~0.1 nM. Loss of the HRM axial thiolate via redox processes, including oxidation to a disulfide with a neighboring cysteine or dissociation upon reduction of Fe(3+)- to Fe(2+)-heme, decreased binding affinity by >20-fold. Furthermore, as measured in a co-immunoprecipitation assay, substitution of the His or Cys heme ligands in Rev-erbβ is accompanied by a significant loss of NCoR1 binding. These results demonstrate the importance of the Rev-erbβ HRM in regulating interactions with heme and NCoR1 and advance our understanding of how signaling through HRMs impacts the major cellular processes of circadian rhythm maintenance and metabolism.