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Front Microbiol. 2012 Feb 8;3:37. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2012.00037. eCollection 2012.

Identification and Characterization of MtoA: A Decaheme c-Type Cytochrome of the Neutrophilic Fe(II)-Oxidizing Bacterium Sideroxydans lithotrophicus ES-1.

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1
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Richland, WA, USA.

Abstract

The Gram-negative bacterium Sideroxydans lithotrophicus ES-1 (ES-1) grows on FeCO(3) or FeS at oxic-anoxic interfaces at circumneutral pH, and the ES-1-mediated Fe(II) oxidation occurs extracellularly. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying ES-1's ability to oxidize Fe(II) remain unknown. Survey of the ES-1 genome for candidate genes for microbial extracellular Fe(II) oxidation revealed that it contained a three-gene cluster encoding homologs of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 (MR-1) MtrA, MtrB, and CymA that are involved in extracellular Fe(III) reduction. Homologs of MtrA and MtrB were also previously shown to be involved in extracellular Fe(II) oxidation by Rhodopseudomonas palustris TIE-1. To distinguish them from those found in MR-1, the identified homologs were named MtoAB and CymA(ES-1). Cloned mtoA partially complemented an MR-1 mutant without MtrA with regards to ferrihydrite reduction. Characterization of purified MtoA showed that it was a decaheme c-type cytochrome and oxidized soluble Fe(II). Oxidation of Fe(II) by MtoA was pH- and Fe(II)-complexing ligand-dependent. Under conditions tested, MtoA oxidized Fe(II) from pH 7 to pH 9 with the optimal rate at pH 9. MtoA oxidized Fe(II) complexed with different ligands at different rates. The reaction rates followed the order Fe(II)Cl(2) >  Fe(II)-citrate > Fe(II)-NTA > Fe(II)-EDTA with the second-order rate constants ranging from 6.3 × 10(-3) μM(-1) s(-1) for oxidation of Fe(II)Cl(2) to 1.0 × 10(-3) μM(-1) s(-1) for oxidation of Fe(II)-EDTA. Thermodynamic modeling showed that redox reaction rates for the different Fe(II)-complexes correlated with their respective estimated reaction-free energies. Collectively, these results demonstrate that MtoA is a functional Fe(II)-oxidizing protein that, by working in concert with MtoB and CymA(ES-1), may oxidize Fe(II) at the bacterial surface and transfer released electrons across the bacterial cell envelope to the quinone pool in the inner membrane during extracellular Fe(II) oxidation by ES-1.

KEYWORDS:

Sideroxydans lithotrophicus ES-1; decaheme c-type cytochrome MtoA; extracellular Fe(II) oxidation; ligand complexation; pH-dependent

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