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J Bacteriol. 2010 Oct;192(19):5192-202. doi: 10.1128/JB.00235-10. Epub 2010 Jul 30.

Characterization of NADH oxidase/NADPH polysulfide oxidoreductase and its unexpected participation in oxygen sensitivity in an anaerobic hyperthermophilic archaeon.

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Department of Bioengineering, Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, B-37 4259 Nagatsuta, Midori-ku, Yokohama 226-8501, Japan.


Many genomes of anaerobic hyperthermophiles encode multiple homologs of NAD(P)H oxidase that are thought to function in response to oxidative stress. We investigated one of the seven NAD(P)H oxidase homologs (TK1481) in the sulfur-reducing hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermococcus kodakarensis, focusing on the catalytic properties and roles in oxidative-stress defense and sulfur-dependent energy conservation. The recombinant form of TK1481 exhibited both NAD(P)H oxidase and NAD(P)H:polysulfide oxidoreductase activities. The enzyme also possessed low NAD(P)H peroxidase and NAD(P)H:elemental sulfur oxidoreductase activities under anaerobic conditions. A mutant form of the enzyme, in which the putative redox-active residue Cys43 was replaced by Ala, still showed NADH-dependent flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) reduction activity. Although it also retained successive oxidase and anaerobic peroxidase activities, the ability to reduce polysulfide and sulfur was completely lost, suggesting the specific reactivity of the Cys43 residue for sulfur. To evaluate the physiological function of TK1481, we constructed a gene deletant, ΔTK1481, and mutant KUTK1481C43A, into which two base mutations altering Cys43 of TK1481 to Ala were introduced. ΔTK1481 exhibited growth properties nearly identical to those of the parent strain, KU216, in sulfur-containing media. Interestingly, in the absence of elemental sulfur, the growth of ΔTK1481 was not affected by dissolved oxygen, whereas the growth of KU216 and KUTK1481C43A was significantly impaired. These results indicate that although TK1481 does not play a critical role in either sulfur reduction or the response to oxidative stress, the NAD(P)H oxidase activity of TK1481 unexpectedly participates in the oxygen sensitivity of the hyperthermophilic archaeon T. kodakarensis in the absence of sulfur.

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