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J Bacteriol. 2005 Jul;187(13):4505-13.

OmcF, a putative c-Type monoheme outer membrane cytochrome required for the expression of other outer membrane cytochromes in Geobacter sulfurreducens.

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Department of Microbiology, 203 Morrill Science IVN, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 639 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01003, USA.


Outer membrane cytochromes are often proposed as likely agents for electron transfer to extracellular electron acceptors, such as Fe(III). The omcF gene in the dissimilatory Fe(III)-reducing microorganism Geobacter sulfurreducens is predicted to code for a small outer membrane monoheme c-type cytochrome. An OmcF-deficient strain was constructed, and its ability to reduce and grow on Fe(III) citrate was found to be impaired. Following a prolonged lag phase (150 h), the OmcF-deficient strain developed the ability to grow in Fe(III) citrate medium with doubling times and yields that were ca. 145% and 70% of those of the wild type, respectively. Comparison of the c-type cytochrome contents of outer membrane-enriched fractions prepared from wild-type and OmcF-deficient cultures confirmed the outer membrane association of OmcF and revealed multiple changes in the cytochrome content of the OmcF-deficient strain. These changes included loss of expression of two previously characterized outer membrane cytochromes, OmcB and OmcC, and overexpression of a third previously characterized outer membrane cytochrome, OmcS, during growth on Fe(III) citrate. The omcB and omcC transcripts could not be detected in the OmcF-deficient mutant by either reverse transcriptase PCR or Northern blot analyses. Expression of the omcF gene in trans restored both the capacity of the OmcF-deficient mutant to reduce Fe(III) and wild-type levels of omcB and omcC mRNA and protein. Thus, elimination of OmcF may impair Fe(III) reduction by influencing expression of OmcB, which has previously been demonstrated to play a critical role in Fe(III) reduction.

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