Warelow TP, Oke M, Schoepp-Cothenet B, Dahl JU, Bruselat N, Sivalingam GN, Leimkühler S, Thalassinos K, Kappler U, Naismith JH, Santini JM.
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.
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.
Lebrun E, Santini JM, Brugna M, Ducluzeau A-L, Ouchane S, Schoepp-Cothenet B, Baymann F, Nitschke W
Previously published phylogenetic trees reconstructed on “Rieske protein” sequences frequently are at odds with each other, with those of other subunits of the parent enzymes and with small-subunit rRNA trees. These differences are shown to be at least partially if not completely due to problems in the reconstruction procedures. A major source of erroneous Rieske protein trees lies in the presence of a large, poorly conserved domain prone to accommodate very long insertions in well-defined structural hot spots substantially hampering multiple alignments. The remaining smaller domain, in contrast, is too conserved to allow distant phylogenies to be deduced with sufficient confidence. Three-dimensional structures of representatives from this protein family are now available from phylogenetically distant species and from diverse enzymes. Multiple alignments can thus be refined on the basis of these structures. We show that structurally guided alignments of Rieske proteins from Rieske–cytochrome b complexes and arsenite oxidases strongly reduce conflicts between resulting trees and those obtained on their companion enzyme subunits. Further problems encountered during this work, mainly consisting in database errors such as wrong annotations and frameshifts, are described. The obtained results are discussed against the background of hypotheses stipulating pervasive lateral gene transfer in prokaryotes.