Format of Original
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Original Item ID
Direct oxidation of sulfite to sulfate occurs in various photo- and chemotrophic sulfur oxidizing microorganisms as the final step in the oxidation of reduced sulfur compounds and is catalyzed by sulfite:cytochrome c oxidoreductase (EC22.214.171.124). Here we show that the enzyme from Thiobacillus novellus is a periplasmically located αβ heterodimer, consisting of a 40.6-kDa subunit containing a molybdenum cofactor and an 8.8-kDa mono-heme cytochrome c 552 subunit (midpoint redox potential, E m8.0 = +280 mV). The organic component of the molybdenum cofactor was identified as molybdopterin contained in a 1:1 ratio to the Mo content of the enzyme. Electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed the presence of a sulfite-inducible Mo(V) signal characteristic of sulfite:acceptor oxidoreductases. However, pH-dependent changes in the electron paramagnetic resonance signal were not detected. Kinetic studies showed that the enzyme exhibits a ping-pong mechanism involving two reactive sites. K m values for sulfite and cytochrome c 550 were determined to be 27 and 4 μm, respectively; the enzyme was found to be reversibly inhibited by sulfate and various buffer ions. The sorABgenes, which encode the enzyme, appear to form an operon, which is preceded by a putative extracytoplasmic function-type promoter and contains a hairpin loop termination structure downstream ofsorB. While SorA exhibits significant similarities to known sequences of eukaryotic and bacterial sulfite:acceptor oxidoreductases, SorB does not appear to be closely related to any knownc-type cytochromes.