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Mol Microbiol. 2002 Jun;44(6):1575-87.

Molecular analysis of dimethyl sulphide dehydrogenase from Rhodovulum sulfidophilum: its place in the dimethyl sulphoxide reductase family of microbial molybdopterin-containing enzymes.

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  • 1Centre for Metals in Biology, Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia 4072, Australia.


Dimethyl sulphide dehydrogenase catalyses the oxidation of dimethyl sulphide to dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) during photoautotrophic growth of Rhodovulum sulfidophilum. Dimethyl sulphide dehydrogenase was shown to contain bis(molybdopterin guanine dinucleotide)Mo, the form of the pterin molybdenum cofactor unique to enzymes of the DMSO reductase family. Sequence analysis of the ddh gene cluster showed that the ddhA gene encodes a polypeptide with highest sequence similarity to the molybdopterin-containing subunits of selenate reductase, ethylbenzene dehydrogenase. These polypeptides form a distinct clade within the DMSO reductase family. Further sequence analysis of the ddh gene cluster identified three genes, ddhB, ddhD and ddhC. DdhB showed sequence homology to NarH, suggesting that it contains multiple iron-sulphur clusters. Analysis of the N-terminal signal sequence of DdhA suggests that it is secreted via the Tat secretory system in complex with DdhB, whereas DdhC is probably secreted via a Sec-dependent mechanism. Analysis of a ddhA mutant showed that dimethyl sulphide dehydrogenase was essential for photolithotrophic growth of Rv. sulfidophilum on dimethyl sulphide but not for chemo-trophic growth on the same substrate. Mutational analysis showed that cytochrome c2 mediated photosynthetic electron transfer from dimethyl sulphide dehydrogenase to the photochemical reaction centre, although this cytochrome was not essential for photoheterotrophic growth of the bacterium.

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