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J Biol Chem. 2010 Jun 11;285(24):18433-42. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.115873. Epub 2010 Apr 13.

Quinol-cytochrome c oxidoreductase and cytochrome c4 mediate electron transfer during selenate respiration in Thauera selenatis.

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School of Biosciences, Centre for Biocatalysis, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QD, United Kingdom.


Selenate reductase (SER) from Thauera selenatis is a periplasmic enzyme that has been classified as a type II molybdoenzyme. The enzyme comprises three subunits SerABC, where SerC is an unusual b-heme cytochrome. In the present work the spectropotentiometric characterization of the SerC component and the identification of redox partners to SER are reported. The mid-point redox potential of the b-heme was determined by optical titration (E(m) + 234 +/- 10 mV). A profile of periplasmic c-type cytochromes expressed in T. selenatis under selenate respiring conditions was undertaken. Two c-type cytochromes were purified ( approximately 24 and approximately 6 kDa), and the 24-kDa protein (cytc-Ts4) was shown to donate electrons to SerABC in vitro. Protein sequence of cytc-Ts4 was obtained by N-terminal sequencing and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis, and based upon sequence similarities, was assigned as a member of cytochrome c(4) family. Redox potentiometry, combined with UV-visible spectroscopy, showed that cytc-Ts4 is a diheme cytochrome with a redox potential of +282 +/- 10 mV, and both hemes are predicted to have His-Met ligation. To identify the membrane-bound electron donors to cytc-Ts4, growth of T. selenatis in the presence of respiratory inhibitors was monitored. The specific quinol-cytochrome c oxidoreductase (QCR) inhibitors myxothiazol and antimycin A partially inhibited selenate respiration, demonstrating that some electron flux is via the QCR. Electron transfer via a QCR and a diheme cytochrome c(4) is a novel route for a member of the DMSO reductase family of molybdoenzymes.

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