skip to main content

Title: Neutron scattering maps the higher-order assembly of NADPH-dependent assimilatory sulfite reductase
Precursor molecules for biomass incorporation must be imported into cells and made available to the molecular machines that build the cell. Sulfur-containing macromolecules require that sulfur be in its S2− oxidation state before assimilation into amino acids, cofactors, and vitamins that are essential to organisms throughout the biosphere. In α-proteobacteria, NADPH-dependent assimilatory sulfite reductase (SiR) performs the final six-electron reduction of sulfur. SiR is a dodecameric oxidoreductase composed of an octameric flavoprotein reductase (SiRFP) and four hemoprotein metalloenzyme oxidases (SiRHPs). SiR performs the electron transfer reduction reaction to produce sulfide from sulfite through coordinated domain movements and subunit interactions without release of partially reduced intermediates. Efforts to understand the electron transfer mechanism responsible for SiR’s efficiency are confounded by structural heterogeneity arising from intrinsically disordered regions throughout its complex, including the flexible linker joining SiRFP’s flavin-binding domains. As a result, high-resolution structures of SiR dodecamer and its subcomplexes are unknown, leaving a gap in the fundamental understanding of how SiR performs this uniquely large-volume electron transfer reaction. Here, we use deuterium labeling, in vitro reconstitution, analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC), small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), and neutron contrast variation (NCV) to observe the relative subunit positions within SiR’s higher-order assembly. AUC and SANS reveal SiR to be a flexible dodecamer and confirm the mismatched SiRFP and SiRHP subunit stoichiometry. NCV shows that the complex is asymmetric, with SiRHP on the periphery of the complex and the centers of mass between SiRFP and SiRHP components over 100 Å apart. SiRFP undergoes compaction upon assembly into SiR’s dodecamer and SiRHP adopts multiple positions in the complex. The resulting map of SiR’s higher-order structure supports a cis/trans mechanism for electron transfer between domains of reductase subunits as well as between tightly bound or transiently interacting reductase and oxidase subunits.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Correia, John J.; Rhoades, Elizabeth
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Biophysical journal
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Flavodoxins (Flds) mediate the flux of electrons between oxidoreductases in diverse metabolic pathways. To investigate whether Flds can support electron transfer to a sulfite reductase (SIR) that evolved to couple with a ferredoxin, we evaluated the ability of Flds to transfer electrons from a ferredoxin‐NADP reductase (FNR) to a ferredoxin‐dependent SIR using growth complementation of anEscherichia colistrain with a sulfur metabolism defect. We show that Flds from cyanobacteria complement this growth defect when coexpressed with an FNR and an SIR that evolved to couple with a plant ferredoxin. When we evaluated the effect of peptide insertion on Fld‐mediated electron transfer, we observed a sensitivity to insertions within regions predicted to be proximal to the cofactor and partner binding sites, while a high insertion tolerance was detected within loops distal from the cofactor and within regions of helices and sheets that are proximal to those loops. Bioinformatic analysis showed that natural Fld sequence variability predicts a large fraction of the motifs that tolerate insertion of the octapeptide SGRPGSLS. These results represent the first evidence that Flds can support electron transfer to assimilatory SIRs, and they suggest that the pattern of insertion tolerance is influenced by interactions with oxidoreductase partners.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract Modern day aerobic respiration in mitochondria involving complex I converts redox energy into chemical energy and likely evolved from a simple anaerobic system now represented by hydrogen gas-evolving hydrogenase (MBH) where protons are the terminal electron acceptor. Here we present the cryo-EM structure of an early ancestor in the evolution of complex I, the elemental sulfur (S 0 )-reducing reductase MBS. Three highly conserved protein loops linking cytoplasmic and membrane domains enable scalable energy conversion in all three complexes. MBS contains two proton pumps compared to one in MBH and likely conserves twice the energy. The structure also reveals evolutionary adaptations of MBH that enabled S 0 reduction by MBS catalyzed by a site-differentiated iron-sulfur cluster without participation of protons or amino acid residues. This is the simplest mechanism proposed for reduction of inorganic or organic disulfides. It is of fundamental significance in the iron and sulfur-rich volcanic environments of early earth and possibly the origin of life. MBS provides a new perspective on the evolution of modern-day respiratory complexes and of catalysis by biological iron-sulfur clusters. 
    more » « less
  3. Marine Synechococcus efficiently harvest available light for photosynthesis using complex antenna systems, called phycobilisomes, composed of an allophycocyanin core surrounded by rods, which in the open ocean are always constituted of phycocyanin and two phycoerythrin (PE) types: PEI and PEII. These cyanobacteria display a wide pigment diversity primarily resulting from differences in the ratio of the two chromophores bound to PEs, the green-light absorbing phycoerythrobilin and the blue-light absorbing phycourobilin. Prior to phycobiliprotein assembly, bilin lyases post-translationally catalyze the ligation of phycoerythrobilin to conserved cysteine residues on α- or β-subunits, whereas the closely related lyase-isomerases isomerize phycoerythrobilin to phycourobilin during the attachment reaction. MpeV was recently shown in Synechococcus sp. RS9916 to be a lyase-isomerase which doubly links phycourobilin to two cysteine residues (C50 and C61; hereafter C50, 61) on the β-subunit of both PEI and PEII. Here we show that Synechococcus sp. WH8020, which belongs to the same pigment type as RS9916, contains MpeV that demonstrates lyase-isomerase activity on the PEII β-subunit but only lyase activity on the PEI β-subunit. We also demonstrate that occurrence of a histidine at position 141 of the PEI β-subunit from WH8020, instead of a leucine in its counterpart from RS9916, prevents the isomerization activity by WH8020 MpeV, showing for the first time that both the substrate and the enzyme play a role in the isomerization reaction. We propose a structural-based mechanism for the role of H141 in blocking isomerization. More generally, the knowledge of the amino acid present at position 141 of the β-subunits may be used to predict which phycobilin is bound at C50, 61 of both PEI and PEII from marine Synechococcus strains. 
    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    Nitrite reductases are enzymes that aid in the denitrification process by catalyzing the reduction of nitrite to nitric oxide gas. Since this reaction is the first committed step that involves gas formation, it is regarded to be a vital step for denitrification. However, the mechanism of copper-containing nitrite reductase is still under debate due to the discrepancy between the theoretical and experimental data, especially in terms of the roles of secondary shell residues Asp98 and His255 and the electron transfer mechanism between the two copper sites. Herein, we revisited the nitrite reduction mechanism of A. faecalis copper nitrite reductase using QM(B3LYP)/MM-based metadynamics. It is found that the intramolecular electron transfer from T1-Cu to T2-Cu occurs via an asynchronous proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) mechanism, with electron transfer (ET) preceding proton transfer (PT). In particular, we found that the ET process is driven by the conformation conversion of Asp98 from the gatekeeper to the proximal one, which is much more energy-demanding than the PCET itself. These results highlight that the inclusion of an electron donor is vital to investigate electron-transfer related processes such as PCET. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    The origin(s) of dissimilatory sulfate and/or (bi)sulfite reducing organisms (SRO) remains enigmatic despite their importance in global carbon and sulfur cycling since at least 3.4 Ga. Here, we describe novel, deep-branching archaeal SRO populations distantly related to other Diaforarchaea from two moderately acidic thermal springs. Dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase homologs, DsrABC, encoded in metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs) from spring sediments comprise one of the earliest evolving Dsr lineages. DsrA homologs were expressed in situ under moderately acidic conditions. MAGs lacked genes encoding proteins that activate sulfate prior to (bi)sulfite reduction. This is consistent with sulfide production in enrichment cultures provided sulfite but not sulfate. We suggest input of volcanic sulfur dioxide to anoxic spring-water yields (bi)sulfite and moderately acidic conditions that favor its stability and bioavailability. The presence of similar volcanic springs at the time SRO are thought to have originated (>3.4 Ga) may have supplied (bi)sulfite that supported ancestral SRO. These observations coincide with the lack of inferred SO42− reduction capacity in nearly all organisms with early-branching DsrAB and which are near universally found in hydrothermal environments.

    more » « less