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Eur J Biochem. 1992 May 15;206(1):93-102.

The quinone-reactive Ni/Fe-hydrogenase of Wolinella succinogenes.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie, J. W. Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt, Federal Republic of Germany.


The hydrogenase (Hyd) isolated from the cytoplasmic membrane of Wolinella succinogenes consists of three polypeptides (HydA, HydB and HydC) and contains cytochrome b (6.4 mumol/g protein), which was reduced upon the addition of H2. The enzyme catalyzed the reduction of 2,3-dimethyl-1,4-naphthoquinone with H2, in contrast to an earlier preparation which was made up of HydA and HydB only and did not contain cytochrome b (Unden, G., Böcher, R., Knecht, J. & Kröger, A. (1982) FEBS Lett. 145, 230-234). This suggests that HydC is a cytochrome b which serves as a mediator in the electron transfer from H2 to the quinone. The hydrogenase genes were cloned, sequenced and identified by sequence comparison with the N-termini of the three subunits. The three genes were arranged in the order hydA, hydB, hydC, with the transcription start site in front of hydA, and were present only once on the genome. Separated by an intergene region of 69 nucleotides, hydC was followed by at least two more open reading frames of unknown function. The amino acid sequences derived from hydA, hydB and hydC were similar to those of the membrane Ni-hydrogenases of seven other bacteria. HydA and HydB also showed similarity to the small and the large subunits of periplasmic Ni-hydrogenases. HydC was predicted to contain four hydrophobic segments which might span the bacterial membrane. Two histidine residues located in hydrophobic segments are conserved in the corresponding sequences of the other membrane hydrogenases and might ligate the haem B.

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