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PLoS One. 2008 Jan 30;3(1):e1514. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001514.

Homology modeling of dissimilatory APS reductases (AprBA) of sulfur-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing prokaryotes.

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Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany.



The dissimilatory adenosine-5'-phosphosulfate (APS) reductase (cofactors flavin adenine dinucleotide, FAD, and two [4Fe-4S] centers) catalyzes the transformation of APS to sulfite and AMP in sulfate-reducing prokaryotes (SRP); in sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (SOB) it has been suggested to operate in the reverse direction. Recently, the three-dimensional structure of the Archaeoglobus fulgidus enzyme has been determined in different catalytically relevant states providing insights into its reaction cycle.


Full-length AprBA sequences from 20 phylogenetically distinct SRP and SOB species were used for homology modeling. In general, the average accuracy of the calculated models was sufficiently good to allow a structural and functional comparison between the beta- and alpha-subunit structures (78.8-99.3% and 89.5-96.8% of the AprB and AprA main chain atoms, respectively, had root mean square deviations below 1 A with respect to the template structures). Besides their overall conformity, the SRP- and SOB-derived models revealed the existence of individual adaptations at the electron-transferring AprB protein surface presumably resulting from docking to different electron donor/acceptor proteins. These structural alterations correlated with the protein phylogeny (three major phylogenetic lineages: (1) SRP including LGT-affected Archaeoglobi and SOB of Apr lineage II, (2) crenarchaeal SRP Caldivirga and Pyrobaculum, and (3) SOB of the distinct Apr lineage I) and the presence of potential APS reductase-interacting redox complexes. The almost identical protein matrices surrounding both [4Fe-4S] clusters, the FAD cofactor, the active site channel and center within the AprB/A models of SRP and SOB point to a highly similar catalytic process of APS reduction/sulfite oxidation independent of the metabolism type the APS reductase is involved in and the species it has been originated from.


Based on the comparative models, there are no significant structural differences between dissimilatory APS reductases from SRP and SOB; this might be indicative for a similar catalytic process of APS reduction/sulfite oxidation.

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