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Biochimie. 1986 Jan;68(1):75-84.

Redox properties and activity studies on a nickel-containing hydrogenase isolated from a halophilic sulfate reducer Desulfovibrio salexigens.


A soluble hydrogenase from the halophilic sulfate reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio salexigens, strain British Guiana (NCIB 8403) has been purified to apparent homogeneity with a final specific activity of 760 mumoles H2 evolved/min/mg (an overall 180-fold purification with 20% recovery yield). The enzyme is composed of two non-identical subunits of molecular masses 62 and 36 kDa, respectively, and contains approximately 1 Ni, 12-15 Fe and 1 Se atoms/mole. The hydrogenase shows a visible absorption spectrum typical of an iron-sulfur containing protein (A400/A280 = 0.275) and a molar absorbance of 54 mM-1cm-1 at 400 nm. In the native state (as isolated, under aerobic conditions), the enzyme is almost EPR silent at 100 K and below. However, upon reduction under H2 atmosphere a rhombic EPR signal develops at g-values 2.22, 2.16 and around 2.0, which is optimally detected at 40 K. This EPR signal is reminiscent of the nickel signal C (g-values 2.19, 2.16 and 2.02) observed in intermediate redox states of the well characterized D. gigas nickel containing hydrogenase and assigned to nickel by 61 Ni isotopic substitution (J.J.G. Moura, M. Teixeira, I. Moura, A.V. Xavier and J. Le Gall (1984), J. Mol. Cat., 23, 305-314). Upon longer incubation with H2 the "2.22" EPR signal decreases. During the course of a redox titration under H2, this EPR signal attains a maximal intensity around--380 mV. At redox states where this "2.22" signal develops (or at lower redox potentials), low temperature studies (below 10 K) reveals the presence of other EPR species with g-values at 2.23, 2.21, 2.14 with broad components at higher fields. This new signal (fast relaxing) exhibits a different microwave power dependence from that of the "2.22" signal, which readily saturates with microwave power (slow relaxing). Also at low temperature (8 K) typical reduced iron-sulfur EPR signals are concomitantly observed with gmed approximately 1.94. The catalytic properties of the enzyme were also followed by substrate isotopic exchange D2/H+ and H2 production measurements.

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