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J Mol Biol. 1989 Nov 20;210(2):383-98.

Structure of [4Fe-4S] ferredoxin from Bacillus thermoproteolyticus refined at 2.3 A resolution. Structural comparisons of bacterial ferredoxins.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Osaka University, Japan.


The structure of a low-potential ferredoxin isolated from Bacillus thermoproteolyticus has been refined by a restrained least-squares method. The final crystallographic R factor is 0.204 for 2906 reflections with F greater than 3 sigma F in the 6.0 to 2.3 A resolution range. The model contains 81 amino acid residues, one [4Fe-4S] cluster, and 59 water molecules. The root-mean-square deviation from ideal values for bond lengths is 0.018 A, and the mean coordinate error is estimated to be 0.25 A. The present ferredoxin is similar in the topology of the polypeptide backbone to the dicluster-type ferredoxins from Peptococcus aerogenes and Azotobacter vinelandii, but has considerable insertions and deletions of the peptide segments as well as different secondary structures. Although all but the C-terminal C zeta atoms of P. aerogenes ferredoxin superpose on the C alpha atoms of A. vinelandii ferredoxin, only 60% superpose on the C alpha atoms of B. thermoproteolyticus ferredoxin, with a root-mean-square distance of 0.82 A for each pair. The conformations of the peptide segments surrounding the [4Fe-4S] clusters in these three ferredoxins are all conserved. Moreover, the schemes for the NH...S hydrogen bonds in these ferredoxins are nearly identical. The site of the aromatic ring of Tyr27 in B. thermoproteolyticus ferredoxin is close spatially to that of Tyr28 in P. aerogenes ferredoxin with reference to the cluster, but these residues do not correspond in the spatial alignment of their polypeptide backbones. We infer that in monocluster-type ferredoxins, the side-chain at the 27th residue has a crucial effect on the stability of the cluster. Of the four cysteine residues that bind to the second Fe-S cluster in the dicluster-type ferredoxins, two are conserved in the monocluster-type ferredoxins from Desulfovibrio gigas. D. desulfuricans Norway, and Clostridium thermoaceticum. The tertiary structure of B. thermoproteolyticus ferredoxin suggests that in such monocluster-type ferredoxins these two cysteine residues, which in it correspond to Ala21 and Asp53, form a disulfide bridge.

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