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J Bacteriol. 1989 Mar;171(3):1638-43.

Coupled enzymatic production of sulfite, thiosulfate, and hydrogen sulfide from sulfur: purification and properties of a sulfur oxygenase reductase from the facultatively anaerobic archaebacterium Desulfurolobus ambivalens.

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Max Planck Institut für Biochemie, Martinsried, Federal Republic of Germany.


From aerobically grown cells of the extremely thermophilic, facultatively anaerobic chemolithoautotrophic archaebacterium Desulfurolobus ambivalens (DSM 3772), a soluble oxygenase reductase (SOR) was purified which was not detectable in anaerobically grown cells. In the presence of oxygen but not under a hydrogen atmosphere, the enzyme simultaneously produced sulfite, thiosulfate, and hydrogen sulfide from sulfur. Nonenzymatic control experiments showed that thiosulfate was produced mainly in a chemical reaction between sulfite and sulfur. The maximum specific activity of the purified SOR in sulfite production was 10.6 mumol/mg of protein at pH 7.4 and 85 degrees C. The ratio of sulfite to hydrogen sulfide production was 5:4 in the presence of zinc ions. The temperature range of enzyme activity was 50 to 108 degrees C, with a maximum at 85 degrees C. The molecular mass of the native SOR was 550 kilodaltons, determined by gel filtration. It consisted of identical subunits with an apparent molecular mass of 40 kilodaltons in sodium dodecyl sulfate-gel electrophoresis. The particle diameter in electron micrographs was 15 /+- 1.5 nm. The enzyme activity was inhibited by the thiol-binding reagents p-chloromercuribenzoic acid, N-ethyl maleimide, and 2-iodoacetic acid and by flavin adenine dinucleotide, Fe3+, and Fe2+. It was not affected by CN-, N3-, or reduced glutathione.

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