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Direct Extracellular Electron Transfer of the Geobacter sulfurreducens Pili Relevant to Interaromatic Distances.


ABSTRACT: Microorganisms can transfer electrons directly to extracellular acceptors, during which organic compounds are oxidized to carbon dioxide. One of these microbes, Geobacter sulfurreducens, is well known for the "metallic-like" conductivity of its type IV pili. However, there is no consensus on what the mechanism for electron transfer along these conductive pili is. Based on the aromatic distances and orientations of our predicted models, the mechanism of electron transfer in the Geobacter sulfurreducens (GS) pili was explored by quantum chemical calculations with Marcus theory of electron transfer reactions. Three aromatic residues from the N-terminal ?-helix of the GS pilin subunit are packed together, resulting in a continuous pi-pi interaction chain. The theoretical conductance (4.69??S/3.85??S) of the predicted models is very similar to that in the experiments reported recently (3.40??S). These findings offer a new concept that the GS pili belongs to a new class of proteins that can transport electrons through pi-pi interaction between aromatic residues and also provide a valuable tool for guiding further researches of these conductive pili, to investigate their roles in biogeochemical cycling, and potential applications in biomaterials, bioelectronics, and bioenergy.

SUBMITTER: Shu C 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6925702 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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