Tagged: arsenite oxidase

The H-bond network surrounding the pyranopterins modulates redox cooperativity in the molybdenum-bisPGD cofactor in arsenite oxidase

Simon Duval, Joanne M. Santini, David Lemaire, Florence Chaspoul, Michael J. Russell, Stephane Grimaldi, Wolfgang Nitschke, Barbara Schoepp-Cothenet, BBA – Bioenergetics (2016) doi:10.1016/j.bbabio.2016.05.003


While the molybdenum cofactor in the majority of bisPGD enzymes goes through two consecutive 1-electron redox transitions, previous protein-film voltammetric results indicated the possibility of cooperative (n = 2) redox behavior in the bioenergetic enzyme arsenite oxidase (Aio). Combining equilibrium redox titrations, optical and EPR spectroscopies on concentrated samples obtained via heterologous expression, we unambiguously confirm this claim and quantify Aio’s redox cooperativity. The stability constant, Ks, of the MoV semi-reduced intermediate is found to be lower than 10− 3. Site-directed mutagenesis of residues in the vicinity of the Mo-cofactor demonstrates that the degree of redox cooperativity is sensitive to H-bonding interactions between the pyranopterin moieties and amino acid residues. Remarkably, in particular replacing the Gln-726 residue by Gly results in stabilization of (low-temperature) EPR-observable MoVwith KS = 4. As evidenced by comparison of room temperature optical and low temperature EPR titrations, the degree of stabilization is temperature-dependent. This highlights the importance of room-temperature redox characterizations for correctly interpreting catalytic properties in this group of enzymes.

Geochemical and phylogenetic data strongly indicate that molybdenum played an essential biocatalytic roles in early life. Molybdenum’s redox versatility and in particular the ability to show cooperative (n = 2) redox behavior provide a rationale for its paramount catalytic importance throughout the evolutionary history of life. Implications of the H-bonding network modulating Molybdenum’s redox properties on details of a putative inorganic metabolism at life’s origin are discussed.


The respiratory arsenite oxidase: structure and the role of residues surrounding the rieske cluster.

Warelow TP, Oke M, Schoepp-Cothenet B, Dahl JU, Bruselat N, Sivalingam GN, Leimkühler S, Thalassinos K, Kappler U, Naismith JH, Santini JM.

PLoS One. 2013 Aug 30;8(8):e72535. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072535. eCollection 2013.

The arsenite oxidase (Aio) from the facultative autotrophic Alphaproteobacterium Rhizobium sp. NT-26 is a bioenergetic enzyme involved in the oxidation of arsenite to arsenate. The enzyme from the distantly related heterotroph, Alcaligenes faecalis, which is thought to oxidise arsenite for detoxification, consists of a large α subunit (AioA) with bis-molybdopterin guanine dinucleotide at its active site and a 3Fe-4S cluster, and a small β subunit (AioB) which contains a Rieske 2Fe-2S cluster. The successful heterologous expression of the NT-26 Aio in Escherichia coli has resulted in the solution of its crystal structure. The NT-26 Aio, a heterotetramer, shares high overall similarity to the heterodimeric arsenite oxidase from A. faecalis but there are striking differences in the structure surrounding the Rieske 2Fe-2S cluster which we demonstrate explains the difference in the observed redox potentials (+225 mV vs. +130/160 mV, respectively). A combination of site-directed mutagenesis and electron paramagnetic resonance was used to explore the differences observed in the structure and redox properties of the Rieske cluster. In the NT-26 AioB the substitution of a serine (S126 in NT-26) for a threonine as in the A. faecalis AioB explains a −20 mV decrease in redox potential. The disulphide bridge in the A. faecalis AioB which is conserved in other betaproteobacterial AioB subunits and the Rieske subunit of the cytochrome bc1 complex is absent in the NT-26 AioB subunit. The introduction of a disulphide bridge had no effect on Aio activity or protein stability but resulted in a decrease in the redox potential of the cluster. These results are in conflict with previous data on the betaproteobacterial AioB subunit and the Rieske of the bc1 complex where removal of the disulphide bridge had no effect on the redox potential of the former but a decrease in cluster stability was observed in the latter.

The prokaryotic Mo/W-bisPGD enzymes family: A catalytic workhorse in bioenergetic.

Grimaldi S, Schoepp-Cothenet B, Ceccaldi P, Guigliarelli B, Magalon A.

Over the past two decades, prominent importance of molybdenum-containing enzymes in prokaryotes has been put forward by studies originating from different fields. Proteomic or bioinformatic studies underpinned that the list of molybdenum-containing enzymes is far from being complete with to date, more than fifty different enzymes involved in the biogeochemical nitrogen, carbon and sulfur cycles. In particular, the vast majority of prokaryotic molybdenum-containing enzymes belong to the so-called dimethylsulfoxide reductase family. Despite its extraordinary diversity, this family is characterized by the presence of a Mo/W-bis(pyranopterin guanosine dinucleotide) cofactor at the active site. This review highlights what has been learned about the properties of the catalytic site, the modular variation of the structural organization of these enzymes, and their interplay with the isoprenoid quinones. In the last part, this review provides an integrated view of how these enzymes contribute to the bioenergetics of prokaryotes. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Metals in Bioenergetics and Biomimetics Systems.

Arsenics as bioenergetic substrates

R. van Lis, W. Nitschke, S. Duval, B. Schoepp-Cothenet

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Feb;1827(2):176-88. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2012.08.007. Epub 2012 Sep 7. Review.

Although at low concentrations, arsenic commonly occurs naturally as a local geological constituent. Whereas both arsenate and arsenite are strongly toxic to life, a number of prokaryotes use these compounds as electron acceptors or donors, respectively, for bioenergetic purposes via respiratory arsenate reductase, arsenite oxidase and alternative arsenite oxidase. The recent burst in discovered arsenite oxidizing and arsenate respiring microbes suggests the arsenic bioenergetic metabolisms to be anything but exotic. The first goal of the present review is to bring to light the widespread distribution and diversity of these metabolizing pathways. The second goal is to present an evolutionary analysis of these diverse energetic pathways. Taking into account not only the available data on the arsenic metabolizing enzymes and their phylogenetical relatives but also the palaeogeochemical records, we propose a crucial role of arsenite oxidation via arsenite oxidase in primordial life. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The evolutionary aspects of bioenergetic systems.

Heterologously expressed arsenite oxidase: A system to study biogenesis and structure/function relationships of the enzyme family.

van Lis R, Nitschke W, Warelow TP, Capowiez L, Santini JM, Schoepp-Cothenet B.

Studies of native arsenite oxidases from Ralstonia sp. S22 and Rhizobium sp. NT-26 raised two major questions. The first one concerns the mode of the enzyme’s membrane-association. It has been suggested that a hypothetical not conserved protein could account for this variable association. Expression of the wild type arsenite oxidase in Escherichia coli allowed us to study the cellular localization of this enzyme in the absence of such a hypothetical partner. The results with the Ralstonia sp. S22 enzyme suggest that no additional protein is required for membrane association. The second question addresses the influence of the disulfide bridge in the small Rieske subunit, conspicuously absent in the Rhizobium sp. NT-26 enzyme, on the properties of the [2Fe–2S] center. The disulfide bridge is considered to be formed only after translocation of the enzyme to the periplasm. To address this question we thus first expressed the enzyme in the absence of its Twin-arginine translocation signal sequence. The spectral and redox properties of the cytoplasmic enzyme are unchanged compared to the periplasmic one. We finally studied a disulfide bridge mutant, Cys106Ala, devoid of the first Cys involved in the disulfide bridge formation. This mutation, proposed to have a strong effect on redox and catalytic properties of the Rieske protein in Rieske/cytb complexes, had no significant effect on properties of the Rieske protein from arsenite oxidase. Our present results demonstrate that the effects attributed to the disulfide bridge in the Rieske/cytb complexes are likely to be secondary effects due to conformational changes.

The ineluctable requirement for the trans-iron elements molybdenum and/or tungsten in the origin of life.

Schoepp-Cothenet B, van Lis R, Philippot P, Magalon A, Russell MJ, Nitschke W.

Sci Rep. 2012;2:263. doi: 10.1038/srep00263. Epub 2012 Feb 13.

An evolutionary tree of key enzymes from the Complex-Iron-Sulfur-Molybdoenzyme (CISM) superfamily distinguishes “ancient” members, i.e. enzymes present already in the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) of prokaryotes, from more recently evolved subfamilies. The majority of the presented subfamilies and, as a consequence, the Molybdo-enzyme superfamily as a whole, appear to have existed in LUCA. The results are discussed with respect to the nature of bioenergetic substrates available to early life and to problems arising from the low solubility of molybdenum under conditions of the primordial Earth.

The novel arsenite oxidase from Ralstonia sp. 22: biochemical and functionnal analysis of a lateraly transfered enzyme

Lieutaud A, van Lis R, Duval S, Capowiez L, Muller D, Lebrun R, Lignon S , Fardeau M-L, Lett M-C, Nitschke W, and Schoepp-Cothenet B.

J Biol Chem. 2010 Jul 2;285(27):20433-41. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.113761. Epub 2010 Apr 26.

We characterized the aro arsenite oxidation system in the novel strain Ralstonia sp. 22, a β-proteobacterium isolated from soil samples of the Salsigne mine in southern France. The inducible aro system consists of a heterodimeric membrane-associated enzyme reacting with a dedicated soluble cytochrome c554. Our biochemical results suggest that the weak association of the enzyme to the membrane probably arises from a still unknown interaction partner. Analysis of the phylogeny of the aro gene cluster revealed that it results from a lateral gene transfer from a species closely related to Achromobacter sp. SY8. This constitutes the first clear cut case of such a transfer in the Aro phylogeny. The biochemical study of the enzyme demonstrates that it can accommodate in vitro various cytochromes, two of which, c552 and c554, are from the parent species. Cytochrome c552 belongs to the sox and not the aro system. Kinetic studies furthermore established that sulfite and sulfide, substrates of the sox system, are both inhibitors of Aro activity. These results reinforce the idea that sulfur and arsenic metabolism are linked.

Study of the Arsenite oxidase AroB subunit: learning on the Rieske family

Duval S, Santini JM, Nitschke W, Hille R, and Schoepp-Cothenet B

Here, we describe the characterization of the [2Fe-2S] clusters of arsenite oxidases from Rhizobium sp. NT-26 and Ralstonia sp. 22. Both reduced Rieske proteins feature EPR signals similar to their homologs from Rieske-cyt b complexes, with g values at 2.027, 1.88, and 1.77. Redox titrations in a range of pH values showed that both [2Fe-2S] centers have constant Em values up to pH 8 at ∼+210 mV. Above this pH value, the Em values of both centers are pH-dependent, similar to what is observed for the Rieske-cyt b complexes. The redox properties of these two proteins, together with the low Em value (+160 mV) of the Alcaligenes faecalis arsenite oxidase Rieske (confirmed herein), are in line with the structural determinants observed in the primary sequences, which have previously been deduced from the study of Rieske-cyt b complexes. Since the published Em value of the Chloroflexus aurantiacus Rieske (+100 mV) is in conflict with this sequence analysis, we re-analyzed membrane samples of this organism and obtain a new value (+200 mV). Arsenite oxidase activity was affected by quinols and quinol analogs, which is similar to what is found with the Rieske-cyt b complexes. Together, these results show that the Rieske protein of arsenite oxidase shares numerous properties with its counterpart in the Rieske-cyt b complex. However, two cysteine residues, strictly conserved in the Rieske-cyt b-Rieske and considered to be crucial for its function, are not conserved in the arsenite oxidase counterpart. We discuss the role of these residues.