Summary: A hydrogenase operon was cloned from chromosomal DNA isolated from Miyazaki F with the use of probes derived from the genes encoding [NiFe] hydrogenase from Hildenborough. The nucleic acid sequence of the cloned DNA indicates this hydrogenase to be a two-subunit enzyme: the gene for the small subunit (267 residues; molecular mass = 28763 Da) precedes that for the large subunit (566 residues; molecular mass = 62495 Da), as in other [NiFe] and [NiFeSe] hydrogenase operons. The amino acid sequences of the small and large subunits of the Miyazaki hydrogenase share 80% homology with those of the [NiFe] hydrogenase from Fourteen cysteine residues, ten in the small and four in the large subunit, which are thought to co-ordinate the iron-sulphur clusters and the active-site nickel in [NiFe] hydrogenases, are found to be conserved in the Miyazaki hydrogenase. The subunit molecular masses and amino acid composition derived from the gene sequence are very similar to the data reported for the periplasmic, membrane-bound hydrogenase isolated by Yagi and coworkers, suggesting that this hydrogenase belongs to the general class of [NiFe] hydrogenases, despite its low nickel content and apparently anomalous spectral properties.


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