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Biochemistry. 1998 Sep 15;37(37):12838-46.

The delta-subunit of pyruvate ferredoxin oxidoreductase from Pyrococcus furiosus is a redox-active, iron-sulfur protein: evidence for an ancestral relationship with 8Fe-type ferredoxins.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Center for Metalloenzyme Studies, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-7229, USA.


Pyruvate ferredoxin oxidoreductase (POR) from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus (Pf) catalyzes the final oxidative step in carbohydrate fermentation in which pyruvate is oxidized to acetyl-CoA and CO2, coupled to the reduction of ferredoxin (Fd). POR is composed of two 'catalytic units' of molecular mass approximately 120 kDa. Each unit consists of four subunits, alpha beta gamma delta, with masses of approximately 44, 36, 20, and 12 kDa, respectively, and contains at least two [4Fe-4S] clusters. The precise mechanism of catalysis and the role of the individual subunits are not known. The gene encoding the delta-subunit of Pf POR has been expressed in E. coli, and the protein was purified after reconstitution with iron and sulfide. The reconstituted delta-subunit (recPOR-delta) is monomeric with a mass of 11 879 +/- 1.2 Da as determined by mass spectrometry, in agreement with that predicted from the gene sequence. Purified recPOR-delta contains 8 Fe mol/mol and remained intact when incubated at 85 degreesC for 2 h, as judged by its visible absorption properties. The reduced form of the protein exhibited an EPR spectrum characteristic of two, spin-spin interacting [4Fe-4S]1+ clusters. When compared with the EPR properties of the reduced holoenzyme, the latter was shown to contain a third [4Fe-4S]1+ cluster in addition to the two within the delta-subunit. The reduction potential of the two 4Fe clusters in isolated recPOR-delta (-403 +/- 8 mV at pH 8.0 and 24 degreesC) decreased linearly with temperature (-1.55 mV/ degreesC) up to 82 degreesC. RecPOR-delta replaced Pf Fd as an in vitro electron carrier for two oxidoreductases from Pf, POR and Fd:NADP oxidoreductase, and the POR holoenzyme displayed a higher apparent affinity for its own subunit (apparent Km = 1.0 microM at 80 degreesC) than for Fd (apparent Km = 4.4 microM). The molecular and spectroscopic properties and amino acid sequence of the isolated delta-subunit suggest that it evolved from an 8Fe-type Fd by the addition of approximately 40 residues at the N-terminus, and that this extension enabled it to interact with additional subunits within POR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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