Dissecting the functional role of key residues in triheme cytochrome PpcA: a path to rational design of G. sulfurreducens strains with enhanced electron transfer capabilities.
ABSTRACT: PpcA is the most abundant member of a family of five triheme cytochromes c7 in the bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens (Gs) and is the most likely carrier of electrons destined for outer surface during respiration on solid metal oxides, a process that requires extracellular electron transfer. This cytochrome has the highest content of lysine residues (24%) among the family, and it was suggested to be involved in e-/H(+) energy transduction processes. In the present work, we investigated the functional role of lysine residues strategically located in the vicinity of each heme group. Each lysine was replaced by glutamine or glutamic acid to evaluate the effects of a neutral or negatively charged residue in each position. The results showed that replacing Lys9 (located near heme IV), Lys18 (near heme I) or Lys22 (between hemes I and III) has essentially no effect on the redox properties of the heme groups and are probably involved in redox partner recognition. On the other hand, Lys43 (near heme IV), Lys52 (between hemes III and IV) and Lys60 (near heme III) are crucial in the regulation of the functional mechanism of PpcA, namely in the selection of microstates that allow the protein to establish preferential e-/H(+) transfer pathways. The results showed that the preferred e-/H(+) transfer pathways are only established when heme III is the last heme to oxidize, a feature reinforced by a higher difference between its reduction potential and that of its predecessor in the order of oxidation. We also showed that K43 and K52 mutants keep the mechanistic features of PpcA by establishing preferential e-/H+ transfer pathways at lower reduction potential values than the wild-type protein, a property that can enable rational design of Gs strains with optimized extracellular electron transfer capabilities.
Project description:Complex III in C. glutamicum has an unusual di-heme cyt. c1 and it co-purifies with complex IV in a supercomplex. Here, we investigated the kinetics of electron transfer within this supercomplex and in the cyt. aa3 alone (cyt. bc1 was removed genetically). In the reaction of the reduced cyt. aa3 with O2, we identified the same sequence of events as with other A-type oxidases. However, even though this reaction is associated with proton uptake, no pH dependence was observed in the kinetics. For the cyt. bc1-cyt. aa3 supercomplex, we observed that electrons from the c-hemes were transferred to CuA with time constants 0.1-1?ms. The b-hemes were oxidized with a time constant of 6.5?ms, indicating that this electron transfer is rate-limiting for the overall quinol oxidation/O2 reduction activity (~210 e(-)/s). Furthermore, electron transfer from externally added cyt. c to cyt. aa3 was significantly faster upon removal of cyt. bc1 from the supercomplex, suggesting that one of the c-hemes occupies a position near CuA. In conclusion, isolation of the III-IV-supercomplex allowed us to investigate the kinetics of electron transfer from the b-hemes, via the di-heme cyt. c1 and heme a to the heme a3-CuB catalytic site of cyt. aa3.
Project description:The sequential flow of electrons in the respiratory chain, from a low reduction potential substrate to O(2), is mediated by protein-bound redox cofactors. In mitochondria, hemes-together with flavin, iron-sulfur, and copper cofactors-mediate this multi-electron transfer. Hemes, in three different forms, are used as a protein-bound prosthetic group in succinate dehydrogenase (complex II), in bc(1) complex (complex III) and in cytochrome c oxidase (complex IV). The exact function of heme b in complex II is still unclear, and lags behind in operational detail that is available for the hemes of complex III and IV. The two b hemes of complex III participate in the unique bifurcation of electron flow from the oxidation of ubiquinol, while heme c of the cytochrome c subunit, Cyt1, transfers these electrons to the peripheral cytochrome c. The unique heme a(3), with Cu(B), form a catalytic site in complex IV that binds and reduces molecular oxygen. In addition to providing catalytic and electron transfer operations, hemes also serve a critical role in the assembly of these respiratory complexes, which is just beginning to be understood. In the absence of heme, the assembly of complex II is impaired, especially in mammalian cells. In complex III, a covalent attachment of the heme to apo-Cyt1 is a prerequisite for the complete assembly of bc(1), whereas in complex IV, heme a is required for the proper folding of the Cox 1 subunit and subsequent assembly. In this review, we provide further details of the aforementioned processes with respect to the hemes of the mitochondrial respiratory complexes. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cell Biology of Metals.
Project description:The bacterium Gs (Geobacter sulfurreducens) is capable of oxidizing a large variety of compounds relaying electrons out of the cytoplasm and across the membranes in a process designated as extracellular electron transfer. The trihaem cytochrome PpcA is highly abundant in Gs and is most probably the reservoir of electrons destined for the outer surface. In addition to its role in electron transfer pathways, we have previously shown that this protein could perform e(-)/H(+) energy transduction. This mechanism is achieved by selecting the specific redox states that the protein can access during the redox cycle and might be related to the formation of proton electrochemical potential gradient across the periplasmic membrane. The regulatory role of haem III in the functional mechanism of PpcA was probed by replacing Met(58), a residue that controls the solvent accessibility of haem III, with serine, aspartic acid, asparagine or lysine. The data obtained from the mutants showed that the preferred e(-)/H(+) transfer pathway observed for PpcA is strongly dependent on the reduction potential of haem III. It is striking to note that one residue can fine tune the redox states that can be accessed by the trihaem cytochrome enough to alter the functional pathways.
Project description:Electrogenic bacteria, such as Geobacter, can couple the oxidation of carbon sources to the reduction of extracellular electron acceptors; such acceptors include toxic and radioactive metals, as well as electrode surfaces, making Geobacter a suitable candidate for applied use in bioremediation and bioenergy generation. Geobacter metallireducens is more promising in this regard than the better studied Geobacter sulfurreducens, as it has more efficient Fe (III) reduction rates and can convert nitrate to ammonia. The operon responsible for nitrate reductase activity in G. metallireducens includes the gene encoding the cytochrome PpcF, which was proposed to exchange electrons with nitrate reductase. In the present work, we perform a biochemical and a biophysical characterization of PpcF. Spectroscopic techniques, including circular dichroism (CD), UV-visible, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), revealed that the cytochrome is very stable (T m > 85 °C), contains three low-spin hemes, and is diamagnetic (S = 0) and paramagnetic (S = 1/2) in the reduced and oxidized states, respectively. The NMR chemical shifts of the heme substituents were assigned and used to determine the heme core architecture of PpcF. Compared to the PpcA-family from G. sulfurreducens, the spatial disposition of the hemes is conserved, but the functional properties are clearly distinct. In fact, potentiometric titrations monitored by UV-visible absorption reveal that the reduction potential values of PpcF are significantly less negative (-56 and -64 mV, versus the normal hydrogen electrode at pH 7.0 and 8.0, respectively). NMR redox titrations showed that the order of oxidation of the hemes is IV-I-III, a feature not observed for G. sulfurreducens. The different redox properties displayed by PpcF, including the small redox-Bohr effect and low reduction potential value of heme IV, were structurally rationalized and attributed to the lower number of positively charged residues located in the vicinity of heme IV. Overall, the redox features of PpcF suggest that biotechnological applications of G. metallireducens may require less negative working functional redox windows than those using by G. sulfurreducens.
Project description:The structure of a novel c(7)-type cytochrome domain that has two bishistidine coordinated hemes and one heme with histidine, methionine coordination (where the sixth ligand is a methionine residue) was determined at 1.7 A resolution. This domain is a representative of domains that form three polymers encoded by the Geobacter sulfurreducens genome. Two of these polymers consist of four and one protein of nine c(7)-type domains with a total of 12 and 27 hemes, respectively. Four individual domains (termed A, B, C, and D) from one such multiheme cytochrome c (ORF03300) were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. The domain C produced diffraction quality crystals from 2.4 M sodium malonate (pH 7). The structure was solved by MAD method and refined to an R-factor of 19.5% and R-free of 21.8%. Unlike the two c(7) molecules with known structures, one from G. sulfurreducens (PpcA) and one from Desulfuromonas acetoxidans where all three hemes are bishistidine coordinated, this domain contains a heme which is coordinated by a methionine and a histidine residue. As a result, the corresponding heme could have a higher potential than the other two hemes. The apparent midpoint reduction potential, E(app), of domain C is -105 mV, 50 mV higher than that of PpcA.
Project description:The diheme enzyme MauG catalyzes posttranslational modifications of a methylamine dehydrogenase precursor protein to generate a tryptophan tryptophylquinone cofactor. The MauG-catalyzed reaction proceeds via a bis-Fe(IV) intermediate in which one heme is present as Fe(IV)=O and the other as Fe(IV) with axial histidine and tyrosine ligation. Herein, a unique near-infrared absorption feature exhibited specifically in bis-Fe(IV) MauG is described, and evidence is presented that it results from a charge-resonance-transition phenomenon. As the two hemes are physically separated by 14.5 Å, a hole-hopping mechanism is proposed in which a tryptophan residue located between the hemes is reversibly oxidized and reduced to increase the effective electronic coupling element and enhance the rate of reversible electron transfer between the hemes in bis-Fe(IV) MauG. Analysis of the MauG structure reveals that electron transfer via this mechanism is rapid enough to enable a charge-resonance stabilization of the bis-Fe(IV) state without direct contact between the hemes. The finding of the charge-resonance-transition phenomenon explains why the bis-Fe(IV) intermediate is stabilized in MauG and does not permanently oxidize its own aromatic residues.
Project description:Efficient nanomaterials for artificial photosynthesis require fast and robust unidirectional electron transfer (ET) from photosensitizers through charge-separation and accumulation units to redox-active catalytic sites. We explored the ultrafast time-scale limits of photo-induced charge transfer between a Ru(II)tris(bipyridine) derivative photosensitizer and PpcA, a 3-heme c-type cytochrome serving as a nanoscale biological wire. Four covalent attachment sites (K28C, K29C, K52C, and G53C) were engineered in PpcA enabling site-specific covalent labeling with expected donor-acceptor (DA) distances of 4-8 Å. X-ray scattering results demonstrated that mutations and chemical labeling did not disrupt the structure of the proteins. Time-resolved spectroscopy revealed three orders of magnitude difference in charge transfer rates for the systems with otherwise similar DA distances and the same number of covalent bonds separating donors and acceptors. All-atom molecular dynamics simulations provided additional insight into the structure-function requirements for ultrafast charge transfer and the requirement of van der Waals contact between aromatic atoms of photosensitizers and hemes in order to observe sub-nanosecond ET. This work demonstrates opportunities to utilize multi-heme c-cytochromes as frameworks for designing ultrafast light-driven ET into charge-accumulating biohybrid model systems, and ultimately for mimicking the photosynthetic paradigm of efficiently coupling ultrafast, light-driven electron transfer chemistry to multi-step catalysis within small, experimentally versatile photosynthetic biohybrid assemblies.
Project description:High-valent iron-oxo species are thought to be intermediates in the catalytic cycles of oxygenases and peroxidases. An attractive route to these iron-oxo intermediates involves laser flash-quench oxidation of ferric hemes, as demonstrated by our work on the ferryl (compound II) and ferryl porphyrin radical cation (compound I) intermediates of horseradish peroxidase. Extension of this work to include cytochrome P450-BM3 (CYP102A1) has required covalent attachment of a Ru(II) photosensitizer to a nonnative cysteine near the heme (RuIIK97C-FeIIIP450), in order to promote electron transfer from the Fe(III) porphyrin to photogenerated Ru(III). The conjugate was structurally characterized by X-ray crystallography (2.4 ? resolution; Ru-Fe distance, 24 ?). Flash-quench oxidation of the ferric-aquo heme produces an Fe(IV)-hydroxide species (compound II) within 2 ms. Difference spectra for three singly oxidized P450-BM3 intermediates were obtained from kinetics modeling of the transient absorption data in combination with generalized singular value decomposition analysis and multiexponential fitting.
Project description:Geobacter sulfurreducens bacterium exhibits an enormous respiratory versatility, including the utilization of several toxic and radioactive metals as electron acceptors. This versatility is also replicated in the capability of the most abundant cytochrome in G. sulfurreducens, the periplasmic triheme cytochrome PpcA, to reduce uranium, chromium and other metal ions. From all possible electron transfer pathways in G. sulfurreducens, those involved in the iron reduction are the best characterized to date. Previously, we provided structural evidence for the complex interface established between PpcA and the electron acceptor Fe(III)-citrate. However, genetic studies suggested that this acceptor is mainly reduced by outer membrane cytochomes. In the present work, we used UV-visible measurements to demonstrate that PpcA is able to directly reduce the electron acceptor ferric nitrilotriacetate (Fe-NTA), a more outer membrane permeable iron chelated form. In addition, the molecular interactions between PpcA and Fe-NTA were probed by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The NMR spectra obtained for PpcA samples in the absence and presence of Fe-NTA showed that the interaction is reversible and encompasses a positively charged surface region located in the vicinity of the heme IV. Overall, the study elucidates the formation of an electron transfer complex between PpcA and a readily outer-membrane permeable iron chelated form. The structural and functional relationships obtained explain how a single cytochrome is designed to effectively interact with a wide range of G. sulfurreducens electron acceptors, a feature that can be explored for optimal bioelectrochemical applications.
Project description:MauG is a diheme enzyme that oxidizes two protein-bound tryptophan residues to generate a catalytic tryptophan tryptophylquinone cofactor within methylamine dehydrogenase. Upon the two-electron oxidation of bis-ferric MauG, the two c-type hemes exist as a spin-uncoupled bis-Fe(IV) species with only one binding oxygen, which is chemically equivalent to a single ferryl heme plus a pi porphyrin cation radical ( Li , X. et al. ( 2008 ) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 105 , 8597 - 8600 ). The EPR spectrum of the nitrosyl complex of fully reduced MauG shows a single six-coordinate Fe(II)-NO species, which is characteristic of a histidine-ligated Fe(II)-NO moiety in the heme environment. Exposure of partially reduced MauG to NO reveals a redox equilibrium with facile electron transfer between hemes but with only one binding nitric oxide. Thus, the second heme is able to stabilize all three redox states of iron (Fe(II), Fe(III), and Fe(IV)) in a six-coordinate protein-bound heme without binding exogenous ligands. This is unprecedented behavior for a protein-bound heme for which each of these redox states is relevant to the overall catalytic mechanism. The results also illustrate the electronic communication between the two iron centers, which function as a diheme unit rather than independent heme cofactors.