1887

Abstract

In phototrophic sulfur bacteria, sulfite is a well-established intermediate during reduced sulfur compound oxidation. Sulfite is generated in the cytoplasm by the reverse-acting dissimilatory sulfite reductase DsrAB. Many purple sulfur bacteria can even use externally available sulfite as a photosynthetic electron donor. Nevertheless, the exact mode of sulfite oxidation in these organisms is a long-standing enigma. Indirect oxidation in the cytoplasm via adenosine-5′-phosphosulfate (APS) catalysed by APS reductase and ATP sulfurylase is neither generally present nor essential. The inhibition of sulfite oxidation by tungstate in the model organism indicated the involvement of a molybdoenzyme, but homologues of the periplasmic molybdopterin-containing SorAB or SorT sulfite dehydrogenases are not encoded in genome-sequenced purple or green sulfur bacteria. However, genes for a membrane-bound polysulfide reductase-like iron–sulfur molybdoprotein (SoeABC) are universally present. The catalytic subunit of the protein is predicted to be oriented towards the cytoplasm. We compared the sulfide- and sulfite-oxidizing capabilities of WT with single mutants deficient in SoeABC or APS reductase and the respective double mutant, and were thus able to prove that SoeABC is the major sulfite-oxidizing enzyme in and probably also in other phototrophic sulfur bacteria. The genes also occur in a large number of chemotrophs, indicating a general importance of SoeABC for sulfite oxidation in the cytoplasm. Furthermore, we showed that the periplasmic sulfur substrate-binding protein SoxYZ is needed in parallel to the cytoplasmic enzymes for effective sulfite oxidation in and provided a model for the interplay between these systems despite their localization in different cellular compartments.

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2013-12-01
2022-01-28
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