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Eur J Biochem. 1989 Nov 6;185(2):449-54.

Inhibition of Desulfovibrio gigas hydrogenase with copper salts and other metal ions.

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Instituto de Catálisis CSIC, Madrid, Spain.


The effect of several transition metals on the activity of Desulfovibrio gigas hydrogenase has been studied. Co(II) and Ni(II) at a concentration of 1 mM did not modify the activity of the enzyme; nor did they affect the pattern of activation/deactivation. Cu(II) inhibited the active hydrogenase, prepared by treatment with hydrogen, but had little effect on the 'unready' enzyme unless a reductant such as ascorbate was present, in which case inactivation took place either in air or under argon. Hg(II) also inactivated the enzyme irreversible in the 'unready' state without the requirement for reductants. The reaction of H2 uptake with methyl viologen was much more sensitive to inhibition than the H2/tritium exchange activity. EPR spectra of this preparation showed that the rates of decline were [3Fe-4S] signal greater than H2-uptake activity greater than Ni-A signal. Similar results were obtained when the protein was treated with Hg(II). The results demonstrate that the [3Fe-4S] cluster is not essential for H2-uptake activity with methyl viologen, but the integrity of [4Fe-4S] clusters is probably necessary to catalyze the reduction of methyl viologen with hydrogen. D. gigas hydrogenase was found to be highly resistant to digestion by proteases.

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