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Eur J Biochem. 1995 Nov 1;233(3):873-9.

Molecular properties of the dissimilatory sulfite reductase from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans (Essex) and comparison with the enzyme from Desulfovibrio vulgaris (Hildenborough).

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Universität Konstanz, Fakultät für Biologie, Konstanz, Germany.


The dissimilatory sulfite reductase desulfoviridin was purified from the membrane (mSiR) and the soluble fraction (sSiR) of the sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio desulfuricans (Essex). Molecular and spectroscopic properties were determined and compared with the properties of the soluble desulfoviridin from Desulfovibrio vulgaris (Hildenborough). The enzymes were isolated as alpha 2 beta 2 gamma n (n = 1-3) multimers with a relative molecular mass of 200 +/- 10 (gel filtration). Both mSiR and sSiR from D. desulfuricans contained 24 +/- 3 Fe and 18 +/- 3 labile sulfide/200 kDa, respectively, and showed identical EPR spectra. Quantification of the high-spin Fe(III) heme resonances at g of approximately 6 indicated that close to 80% of the siroheme moiety in the enzyme from D. desulfuricans was demetallated. D. desulfuricans sulfite reductase showed S = 9/2 EPR signals with the highest apparent g value at g = 17 as reported for SiR from D. vulgaris. Antibodies raised against the alpha, beta and gamma subunit of the D. vulgaris enzyme exhibited cross-reactivity with the subunits of mSiR and sSiR from D. desulfuricans. N-terminal sequences of alpha, beta and gamma subunits of both mSiR and sSiR from D. desulfuricans were identical and showed a high degree of similarity with the sequences of the corresponding subunits obtained from the D. vulgaris enzyme. During gel filtration of sSiR from D. desulfuricans, under non-denaturing conditions, a small protein (molecular mass approximately 11 kDa) was separated. This 11-kDa protein exhibited cross-reactivity with the antibody raised against the gamma subunit of D. vulgaris sulfite reductase. In the case of D. desulfuricans sulfite reductase, the 11-kDa gamma subunit seems not to be an integral part of the protein and can be obtained from the soluble fraction and during purification of the soluble enzyme.

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