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Biochemistry. 1996 Jan 9;35(1):65-75.

Flavin-dependent alkyl hydroperoxide reductase from Salmonella typhimurium. 2. Cystine disulfides involved in catalysis of peroxide reduction.

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Department of Biochemistry, Wake Forest University Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157, USA.


The two-component alkyl hydroperoxide reductase enzyme system from Salmonella typhimurium catalyzes the pyridine nucleotide-dependent reduction of alkyl hydroperoxide and hydrogen peroxide substrates. This system is composed of a flavoenzyme, AhpF, which is related to the disulfide-reducing enzyme thioredoxin reductase, and a smaller protein, AhpC, which lacks a chromophoric cofactor. We have demonstrated that NADH-linked reduction of AhpF under anaerobic conditions converts two cystine disulfide centers to their dithiol forms. The AhpC cystine disulfide center, shown to exist as an intersubunit disulfide bond, is stoichiometrically reducible by NADH in the presence of a catalytic amount of AhpF and can be reoxidized by ethyl hydroperoxide. Disulfide bridges within oxidized AhpF form between Cys129 and Cys132 and between Cys345 and Cys348; the two C-terminal half-cystine residues, Cys476 and Cys489, exist as free thiol groups in oxidized AhpF and play no role in catalysis. Removal of the N-terminal 202-amino acid segment containing the Cys129-Cys132 disulfide center obliterates the ability of AhpF to transfer electrons to 5,5'-dthiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid) (DTNB) and AhpC. NADH added anaerobically to AhpF causes spectral changes consistent with preferential reduction of both disulfides relative to flavin reduction; the reduction potentials of the disulfide centers are thus appropriately poised for electron transfer from NADH and flavin to disulfide-containing substrates (AhpC or DTNB), and ultimately to peroxides from AhpC. Blue, neutral flavin semiquinone is also generated in high yields during reductive titrations (91% yield during dithionite titrations), although the relatively slow formation of this species indicates its catalytic incompetence. A long wavelength absorbance band beyond 900 nm attributable to an FADH2-->NAD+ charge transfer interaction is generated during NADH, but not dithionite, titrations and may be indicative of a species directly involved in the catalytic cycle. A catalytic mechanism including the transient formation of cysteine sulfenic acid within AhpC is proposed.

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