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FEBS J. 2009 May;276(10):2762-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2009.07000.x. Epub 2009 Apr 1.

A periplasmic aldehyde oxidoreductase represents the first molybdopterin cytosine dinucleotide cofactor containing molybdo-flavoenzyme from Escherichia coli.

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Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Germany.


Three DNA regions carrying genes encoding putative homologs of xanthine dehydrogenases were identified in Escherichia coli, named xdhABC, xdhD, and yagTSRQ. Here, we describe the purification and characterization of gene products of the yagTSRQ operon, a molybdenum-containing iron-sulfur flavoprotein from E. coli, which is located in the periplasm. The 135 kDa enzyme comprised a noncovalent (alpha beta gamma) heterotrimer with a large (78.1 kDa) molybdenum cofactor (Moco)-containing YagR subunit, a medium (33.9 kDa) FAD-containing YagS subunit, and a small (21.0 kDa) 2 x [2Fe2S]-containing YagT subunit. YagQ is not a subunit of the mature enzyme, and the protein is expected to be involved in Moco modification and insertion into YagTSR. Analysis of the form of Moco present in YagTSR revealed the presence of the molybdopterin cytosine dinucleotide cofactor. Two different [2Fe2S] clusters, typical for this class of enzyme, were identified by EPR. YagTSR represents the first example of a molybdopterin cytosine dinucleotide-containing protein in E. coli. Kinetic characterization of the enzyme revealed that YagTSR converts a broad spectrum of aldehydes, with a preference for aromatic aldehydes. Ferredoxin instead of NAD(+) or molecular oxygen was used as terminal electron acceptor. Complete growth inhibition of E. coli cells devoid of genes from the yagTSRQ operon was observed by the addition of cinnamaldehyde to a low-pH medium. This finding shows that YagTSR might have a role in the detoxification of aromatic aldehydes for E. coli under certain growth conditions.

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