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Title: A Ferredoxin- and F 420 H 2 -Dependent, Electron-Bifurcating, Heterodisulfide Reductase with Homologs in the Domains Bacteria and Archaea

Heterodisulfide reductases (Hdr) of the HdrABC class are ancient enzymes and a component of the anaerobic core belonging to the prokaryotic common ancestor. The ancient origin is consistent with the widespread occurrence of genes encoding putative HdrABC homologs in metabolically diverse prokaryotes predicting diverse physiological functions; but, only one HdrABC has been characterized and that was from a narrow metabolic group of obligate CO 2-reducing methanogenic anaerobes (methanogens) from the domainArchaea. Here we report the biochemical characterization of an HdrABC homolog (HdrA2B2C2) from the acetate-utilizing methanogenMethanosarcina acetivoranswith unusual properties structurally and functionally distinct from the only other HdrABC characterized. Homologs of the HdrA2B2C2 archetype are present in phylogenetically and metabolically diverse species from the domainsBacteriaandArchaea. The expression of the individual HdrA2, HdrB2, and HdrB2C2 enzymes inEscherichia coli, and reconstitution of an active HdrA2B2C2 complex, revealed an intersubunit electron transport pathway dependent on ferredoxin or coenzyme F 420(F 420H 2) as an electron donor. Remarkably, HdrA2B2C2 couples the previously unknown endergonic oxidation of F 420H 2and reduction of ferredoxin with the exergonic oxidation of F 420H 2and reduction of the heterodisulfide of coenzyme M and coenzyme B (CoMS-SCoB). The unique electron bifurcation predicts a role for HdrA2B2C2 in Fe(III)-dependent anaerobic methanemore » oxidation (ANME) byM. acetivoransand uncultured species from ANME environments. HdrA2B2C2, ubiquitous in acetotrophic methanogens, was shown to participate in electron transfer during acetotrophic growth ofM. acetivoransand proposed to be essential for growth in the environment when acetate is limiting.IMPORTANCEDiscovery of the archetype HdrA2B2C2 heterodisulfide reductase with categorically unique properties extends the understanding of this ancient family beyond CO 2-reducing methanogens to include diverse prokaryotes from the domainsBacteriaandArchaea. Furthermore, the unprecedented coenzyme F 420-dependent electron bifurcation, an emerging fundamental principle of energy conservation, predicts a role for HdrA2B2C2 in diverse metabolisms, including anaerobic CH 4-oxidizing pathways. Our results document an electron transport role for HdrA2B2C2 in acetate-utilizing methanogens responsible for at least two-thirds of the methane produced in Earth’s biosphere. The previously unavailable heterologous production of individual subunits and the reconstitution of HdrA2B2C2 with activity have provided an understanding of intersubunit electron transfer in the HdrABC class and a platform for investigating the principles of electron bifurcation.« less
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  1. Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States). Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
mBio (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: mBio (Online); Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2150-7511
American Society for Microbiology
Research Org:
Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: