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Sample records for nitrogenase femo cofactor

  1. Radical S-Adenosyl-l-methionine Chemistry in the Synthesis of Hydrogenase and Nitrogenase Metal Cofactors*

    PubMed Central

    Byer, Amanda S.; Shepard, Eric M.; Peters, John W.; Broderick, Joan B.

    2015-01-01

    Nitrogenase, [FeFe]-hydrogenase, and [Fe]-hydrogenase enzymes perform catalysis at metal cofactors with biologically unusual non-protein ligands. The FeMo cofactor of nitrogenase has a MoFe7S9 cluster with a central carbon, whereas the H-cluster of [FeFe]-hydrogenase contains a 2Fe subcluster coordinated by cyanide and CO ligands as well as dithiomethylamine; the [Fe]-hydrogenase cofactor has CO and guanylylpyridinol ligands at a mononuclear iron site. Intriguingly, radical S-adenosyl-l-methionine enzymes are vital for the assembly of all three of these diverse cofactors. This minireview presents and discusses the current state of knowledge of the radical S-adenosylmethionine enzymes required for synthesis of these remarkable metal cofactors. PMID:25477518

  2. The Fe-V Cofactor of Vanadium Nitrogenase Contains an Interstitial Carbon Atom.

    PubMed

    Rees, Julian A; Bjornsson, Ragnar; Schlesier, Julia; Sippel, Daniel; Einsle, Oliver; DeBeer, Serena

    2015-11-01

    The first direct evidence is provided for the presence of an interstitial carbide in the Fe-V cofactor of Azotobacter vinelandii vanadium nitrogenase. As for our identification of the central carbide in the Fe-Mo cofactor, we employed Fe Kβ valence-to-core X-ray emission spectroscopy and density functional theory calculations, and herein report the highly similar spectra of both variants of the cofactor-containing protein. The identification of an analogous carbide, and thus an atomically homologous active site in vanadium nitrogenase, highlights the importance and influence of both the interstitial carbide and the identity of the heteroatom on the electronic structure and catalytic activity of the enzyme. PMID:26376620

  3. Purification and characterization of a FeMo cofactor-deficient MoFe protein.

    PubMed

    Gavini, N; Ma, L; Watt, G; Burgess, B K

    1994-10-01

    Previous studies have shown that the nifH gene product is required for FeMo cofactor biosynthesis and insertion and that a delta nifH strain of Azotobacter vinelandii designated DJ54 accumulates a FeMo cofactor-deficient MoFe protein that is distinct from the FeMo cofactor-deficient protein synthesis by Nif B-, N-, or E- strains [Tal, S., Chun, T., Gavini, N., & Burgess, B. K. (1991) J. Biol. Chem. 266, 10654-10657]. Here we report the purification and activation of the MoFe protein from DJ54. The purified protein is an alpha 2 beta 2 tetramer that is indistinguishable from the wild-type MoFe protein by the criteria of SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, native gel electrophoresis, and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. It binds normally to its redox partner, the Fe protein, by the criterion of chemical cross-linking. It does not contain FeMo cofactor and does not catalyze significant C2H2 reduction or reduction-independent MgATP hydrolysis. It can, however, be activated with FeMo cofactor following the addition of the Fe protein and MgATP when an additional required component(s) is supplied by cell-free extracts from a delta nifD strain of A. vinelandii. The purified DJ54 MoFe protein does contain P-clusters by the criteria of metal analysis, CD spectroscopy, cluster extrusion, and electrochemical reduction of the POX state. In the presence of dithionite it exhibits an axial S = 1/2 EPR signal that integrates to 0.1-0.3 spin per alpha 2 beta 2 tetramer.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7918402

  4. Insights into Hydrocarbon Formation by Nitrogenase Cofactor Homologs

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi Chung; Hu, Yilin

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The L-cluster is an all-iron homolog of nitrogenase cofactors. Driven by europium(II) diethylenetriaminepentaacetate [Eu(II)-DTPA], the isolated L-cluster is capable of ATP-independent reduction of CO and CN− to C1 to C4 and C1 to C6 hydrocarbons, respectively. Compared to its cofactor homologs, the L-cluster generates considerably more CH4 from the reduction of CO and CN−, which could be explained by the presence of a “free” Fe atom that is “unmasked” by homocitrate as an additional site for methanation. Moreover, the elevated CH4 formation is accompanied by a decrease in the amount of longer hydrocarbons and/or the lengths of the hydrocarbon products, illustrating a competition between CH4 formation/release and C−C coupling/chain extension. These observations suggest the possibility of designing simpler synthetic clusters for hydrocarbon formation while establishing the L-cluster as a platform for mechanistic investigations of CO and CN− reduction without complications originating from the heterometal and homocitrate components. PMID:25873377

  5. A Journey into the Active Center of Nitrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yilin; Ribbe, Markus W.

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogenase catalyzes the reduction of N2 to NH3, a key step in the global nitrogen cycle. This article describes our journey toward the definition of a complete molecular structure of the active site of nitrogenase, with an emphasis on the discovery of the interstitial carbide and the radical SAM-dependent insertion of this atom into the active FeMo cofactor site of nitrogenase. PMID:24752864

  6. Ligand binding to the FeMo-cofactor: structures of CO-bound and reactivated nitrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Spatzal, Thomas; Perez, Kathryn A.; Einsle, Oliver; Howard, James B.; Rees, Douglas C.

    2014-01-01

    The mechanism of nitrogenase remains enigmatic, with a major unresolved issue concerning how inhibitors and substrates bind to the active site. We report a crystal structure of carbon monoxide (CO) inhibited nitrogenase MoFe-protein at 1.50 Å resolution, revealing a CO molecule bridging Fe2 and Fe6 of the FeMo-cofactor. The μ2 binding geometry is achieved by replacing a belt-sulfur atom (S2B) and highlights the generation of a reactive iron species uncovered by the displacement of sulfur. The CO inhibition is fully reversible as established by regain of enzyme activity and reappearance of S2B in the 1.43 Å resolution structure of the reactivated enzyme. The substantial and reversible reorganization of the FeMo-cofactor accompanying CO binding was unanticipated and provides insights into a catalytically competent state of nitrogenase. PMID:25258081

  7. Determination of ligand binding constants for the iron-molybdenum cofactor of nitrogenase: monomers, multimers, and cooperative behavior.

    PubMed

    Frank, P; Angove, H C; Burgess, B K; Hodgson, K O

    2001-09-01

    Equilibrium titrations in N-methylformamide (NMF) of G-25 gel filtered (ox)-state FeMo cofactor [FeMoco(ox)] from Azotobacter vinelandii nitrogenase were carried out using sodium ethanethiolate and followed using UV/Vis absorption spectroscopy. For Fe-Moco(ox), a non-linear least squares (NLLSQ) fit to the data indicated a strong equilibrium thiolate-binding step with Keq = 1.3+/-0.2x10(6) M(-1). With 245 molar excess imidazole, cooperative binding of three ethanethiolates was observed. The best NLLSQ fit gave Keq=2.0+/-0.1x10(5) M(-2) and a Hill coefficient n=2.0+/-0.3. A Scatchard plot of these data was concave upward, indicating positive cooperativity. The fit to previously published data involving benzenethiol titration of the one-electron reduced (semi-reduced) cofactor, FeMoco(sr), as followed by EPR required a model that included both a sub-stoichiometric ratio of thiol to FeMoco(sr) and about five cooperative ligand binding sites. These constraints were met by modeling FeMoco(sr) as an aggregate, with fewer thiol binding sites than FeMoco(sr) units. The best fit model was that of FeMoco(sr) as a dodecamer with five cooperative benzenethiol binding sites, yielding a thiol binding constant of 3.32+/-0.09x10(4) M(-4.8) and a Hill coefficient n=4.8+/-0.6. The results of all the other published ligand titrations of FeMoco(sr) were similarly analyzed successfully in terms of equilibrium models that include both cooperative ligand binding and dimer-level aggregation. A possible structural model for FeMoco aggregation in NMF solution is proposed. PMID:11681702

  8. Catalytic reduction of CN−, CO and CO2 by nitrogenase cofactors in lanthanide-driven reactions**

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi Chung

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogenase cofactors can be extracted into an organic solvent and added in an adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-free, organic solvent-based reaction medium to catalyze the reduction of cyanide (CN−), carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) when samarium (II) iodide (SmI2) and 2,6-lutidinium triflate (Lut-H) are supplied as a reductant and a proton source, respectively. Driven by SmI2, the cofactors not only catalytically reduce CN− or CO to C1-C4 hydrocarbons, but also catalytically reduce CO2 to CO and C1-C3 hydrocarbons. The observation of C-C coupling from CO2 reveals a unique, Fischer-Tropsch-like reaction with an atypical carbonaceous substrate; whereas the achievement of catalytic turnover of CN−, CO and CO2 by isolated cofactors suggests the possibility to develop nitrogenase-based electrocatalysts for hydrocarbon production from these carbon-containing compounds. PMID:25420957

  9. Catalytic reduction of CN-, CO, and CO2 by nitrogenase cofactors in lanthanide-driven reactions.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chi Chung; Hu, Yilin; Ribbe, Markus W

    2015-01-19

    Nitrogenase cofactors can be extracted into an organic solvent to catalyze the reduction of cyanide (CN(-)), carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2) without using adenosine triphosphate (ATP), when samarium(II) iodide (SmI2) and 2,6-lutidinium triflate (Lut-H) are employed as a reductant and a proton source, respectively. Driven by SmI2, the cofactors catalytically reduce CN(-) or CO to C1-C4 hydrocarbons, and CO2 to CO and C1-C3 hydrocarbons. The C-C coupling from CO2 indicates a unique Fischer-Tropsch-like reaction with an atypical carbonaceous substrate, whereas the catalytic turnover of CN(-), CO, and CO2 by isolated cofactors suggests the possibility to develop nitrogenase-based electrocatalysts for the production of hydrocarbons from these carbon-containing compounds. PMID:25420957

  10. The Fe–V Cofactor of Vanadium Nitrogenase Contains an Interstitial Carbon Atom

    PubMed Central

    Rees, Julian A; Bjornsson, Ragnar; Schlesier, Julia; Sippel, Daniel; Einsle, Oliver; DeBeer, Serena

    2015-01-01

    The first direct evidence is provided for the presence of an interstitial carbide in the Fe–V cofactor of Azotobacter vinelandii vanadium nitrogenase. As for our identification of the central carbide in the Fe–Mo cofactor, we employed Fe Kβ valence-to-core X-ray emission spectroscopy and density functional theory calculations, and herein report the highly similar spectra of both variants of the cofactor-containing protein. The identification of an analogous carbide, and thus an atomically homologous active site in vanadium nitrogenase, highlights the importance and influence of both the interstitial carbide and the identity of the heteroatom on the electronic structure and catalytic activity of the enzyme. PMID:26376620

  11. On reversible H2 loss upon N2 binding to FeMo-cofactor of nitrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zhi-Yong; Khadka, Nimesh; Lukoyanov, Dmitriy; Hoffman, Brian M.; Dean, Dennis R.; Seefeldt, Lance C.

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogenase is activated for N2 reduction by the accumulation of four electrons/protons on its active site FeMo-cofactor, yielding a state, designated as E4, which contains two iron-bridging hydrides [Fe–H–Fe]. A central puzzle of nitrogenase function is an apparently obligatory formation of one H2 per N2 reduced, which would “waste” two reducing equivalents and four ATP. We recently presented a draft mechanism for nitrogenase that provides an explanation for obligatory H2 production. In this model, H2 is produced by reductive elimination of the two bridging hydrides of E4 during N2 binding. This process releases H2, yielding N2 bound to FeMo-cofactor that is doubly reduced relative to the resting redox level, and thereby is activated to promptly generate bound diazene (HN=NH). This mechanism predicts that during turnover under D2/N2, the reverse reaction of D2 with the N2-bound product of reductive elimination would generate dideutero-E4 [E4(2D)], which can relax with loss of HD to the state designated E2, with a single deuteride bridge [E2(D)]. Neither of these deuterated intermediate states could otherwise form in H2O buffer. The predicted E2(D) and E4(2D) states are here established by intercepting them with the nonphysiological substrate acetylene (C2H2) to generate deuterated ethylenes (C2H3D and C2H2D2). The demonstration that gaseous H2/D2 can reduce a substrate other than H+ with N2 as a cocatalyst confirms the essential mechanistic role for H2 formation, and hence a limiting stoichiometry for biological nitrogen fixation of eight electrons/protons, and provides direct experimental support for the reductive elimination mechanism. PMID:24062454

  12. FeMo cofactor synthesis by a nifH mutant with altered MgATP reactivity.

    PubMed

    Gavini, N; Burgess, B K

    1992-10-15

    We have characterized a Nif- mutant of Azotobacter vinelandii, designated UW91 (Shah, V. K., Davis, L. C., Gordon, J. K., Orme-Johnson, W. H., and Brill, W. J. (1973) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 292, 246-255). The specific Fe protein mutation giving rise to the Nif- phenotype was shown by DNA sequencing and site-directed mutagenesis to be the substitution of a conserved alanine at position 157 by a serine. The UW91 Fe protein was purified and shown to have a normal [4Fe-4S] cluster and normal MgATP binding activity. The substitution of alanine 157 by serine, however, prevents the MgATP-induced conformational change that occurs for the wild-type Fe protein, prevents MgATP hydrolysis, and prevents productive electron transfer to the MoFe protein. The UW91 Fe protein does bind to the MoFe protein to give a normal cross-linking pattern; however, it does not compete very successfully with wild-type Fe protein in an activity assay. The UW91 MoFe protein was also purified and characterized and shown to be indistinguishable from the wild-type protein. Thus, the substitution of Fe protein residue alanine 157 by serine does not change the Fe protein's ability to function in FeMo cofactor biosynthesis or insertion. This demonstrates that these events do not require the MgATP-induced conformational change, MgATP hydrolysis, or productive electron transfer to the MoFe protein. PMID:1400428

  13. Catalysis-dependent selenium incorporation and migration in the nitrogenase active site iron-molybdenum cofactor

    PubMed Central

    Spatzal, Thomas; Perez, Kathryn A; Howard, James B; Rees, Douglas C

    2015-01-01

    Dinitrogen reduction in the biological nitrogen cycle is catalyzed by nitrogenase, a two-component metalloenzyme. Understanding of the transformation of the inert resting state of the active site FeMo-cofactor into an activated state capable of reducing dinitrogen remains elusive. Here we report the catalysis dependent, site-selective incorporation of selenium into the FeMo-cofactor from selenocyanate as a newly identified substrate and inhibitor. The 1.60 Å resolution structure reveals selenium occupying the S2B site of FeMo-cofactor in the Azotobacter vinelandii MoFe-protein, a position that was recently identified as the CO-binding site. The Se2B-labeled enzyme retains substrate reduction activity and marks the starting point for a crystallographic pulse-chase experiment of the active site during turnover. Through a series of crystal structures obtained at resolutions of 1.32–1.66 Å, including the CO-inhibited form of Av1-Se2B, the exchangeability of all three belt-sulfur sites is demonstrated, providing direct insights into unforeseen rearrangements of the metal center during catalysis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11620.001 PMID:26673079

  14. Controlled protonation of iron-molybdenum cofactor by nitrogenase: a structural and theoretical analysis.

    PubMed Central

    Durrant, M C

    2001-01-01

    Qualitative molecular modelling has been used to identify possible routes for transfer of protons from the surface of the nitrogenase protein to the iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMoco) and to substrates during catalysis. Three proton-transfer routes have been identified; a water-filled channel running from the protein exterior to the homocitrate ligand of FeMoco, and two hydrogen-bonded chains to specific FeMoco sulphur atoms. It is suggested that the water channel is used for multiple proton deliveries to the substrate, as well as in diffusion of products and substrates between FeMoco and the bulk solvent, whereas the two hydrogen-bonded chains each allow a single proton to be added to, and subsequently depart from, FeMoco during the catalytic cycle. Possible functional differences in the proton-transfer channels are discussed in terms of assessment of the protein environment and specific hydrogen-bonding effects. The implications of these observations are discussed in terms of the suppression of wasteful production of dihydrogen by nitrogenase and the Lowe-Thorneley scheme for dinitrogen reduction. PMID:11311117

  15. Identification and characterization of functional homologs of nitrogenase cofactor biosynthesis protein NifB from methanogens

    PubMed Central

    Fay, Aaron W.; Wiig, Jared A.; Lee, Chi Chung; Hu, Yilin

    2015-01-01

    Nitrogenase biosynthesis protein NifB catalyzes the radical S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM)-dependent insertion of carbide into the M cluster, the cofactor of the molybdenum nitrogenase from Azotobacter vinelandii. Here, we report the identification and characterization of two naturally “truncated” homologs of NifB from Methanosarcina acetivorans (NifBMa) and Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum (NifBMt), which contain a SAM-binding domain at the N terminus but lack a domain toward the C terminus that shares homology with NifX, an accessory protein in M cluster biosynthesis. NifBMa and NifBMt are monomeric proteins containing a SAM-binding [Fe4S4] cluster (designated the SAM cluster) and a [Fe4S4]-like cluster pair (designated the K cluster) that can be processed into an [Fe8S9] precursor to the M cluster (designated the L cluster). Further, the K clusters in NifBMa and NifBMt can be converted to L clusters upon addition of SAM, which corresponds to their ability to heterologously donate L clusters to the biosynthetic machinery of A. vinelandii for further maturation into the M clusters. Perhaps even more excitingly, NifBMa and NifBMt can catalyze the removal of methyl group from SAM and the abstraction of hydrogen from this methyl group by 5′-deoxyadenosyl radical that initiates the radical-based incorporation of methyl-derived carbide into the M cluster. The successful identification of NifBMa and NifBMt as functional homologs of NifB not only enabled classification of a new subset of radical SAM methyltransferases that specialize in complex metallocluster assembly, but also provided a new tool for further characterization of the distinctive, NifB-catalyzed methyl transfer and conversion to an iron-bound carbide. PMID:26627238

  16. In vitro synthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor of nitrogenase.

    PubMed

    Shah, V K; Imperial, J; Ugalde, R A; Ludden, P W; Brill, W J

    1986-03-01

    Molybdate- and ATP-dependent in vitro synthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMo-co) of nitrogenase requires the protein products of at least the nifB, nifN, and nifE genes. Extracts of FeMo-co-negative mutants of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Azotobacter vinelandii with lesions in different genes can be complemented for FeMo-co synthesis. Both K. pneumoniae and A. vinelandii dinitrogenase (component I) deficient in FeMo-co can be activated by FeMo-co synthesized in vitro. Properties of the partially purified dinitrogenase activated by FeMo-co synthesized in vitro were comparable to those of dinitrogenase from the wild-type organism; e.g., ratios of acetylene- to nitrogen-reduction activities, as well as those of acetylene reduction activities to EPR spectrum peak height at g = 3.65, were very similar. A. vinelandii mutants UW45 and CA30 have mutations in a gene functionally equivalent to nifB of K. pneumoniae. PMID:3006060

  17. The vanadium-iron protein of vanadium nitrogenase from Azotobacter chroococcum contains an iron-vanadium cofactor.

    PubMed Central

    Smith, B E; Eady, R R; Lowe, D J; Gormal, C

    1988-01-01

    N-Methylformamide extracts of acid-treated precipitated VFe protein of the V-nitrogenase of Azotobacter chroococcum are yellow-brown in colour and contain vanadium, iron and acid-labile sulphur in the approximate proportions 1:6:5. E.p.r. spectra of the extracts exhibit a weak signal with g values near 4.5, 3.6 and 2.0 characteristic of an S = 3/2 metal-containing centre. The N-methylformamide extracts activated the MoFe protein polypeptides from mutants of nitrogen-fixing bacteria unable to synthesize FeMoco, the active centre of Mo-nitrogenase. The active hybrid protein exhibited the characteristic substrate-reducing phenotype associated with the VFe protein except that it could not reduce N2 to NH3. The above data are interpreted as demonstrating the existence of an iron- and vanadium-containing cofactor, FeVaco, within the VFe protein. It is suggested that nitrogen fixation requires specific interactions between FeVaco or FeMoco and their respective polypeptides. The biosynthesis of these cofactors is discussed. PMID:2833236

  18. Insight into the Iron-Molybdenum Cofactor of Nitrogenase from Synthetic Iron Complexes with Sulfur, Carbon, and Hydride Ligands.

    PubMed

    Čorić, Ilija; Holland, Patrick L

    2016-06-15

    Nitrogenase enzymes are used by microorganisms for converting atmospheric N2 to ammonia, which provides an essential source of N atoms for higher organisms. The active site of the molybdenum-dependent nitrogenase is the unique carbide-containing iron-sulfur cluster called the iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMoco). On the FeMoco, N2 binding is suggested to occur at one or more iron atoms, but the structures of the catalytic intermediates are not clear. In order to establish the feasibility of different potential mechanistic steps during biological N2 reduction, chemists have prepared iron complexes that mimic various structural aspects of the iron sites in the FeMoco. This reductionist approach gives mechanistic insight, and also uncovers fundamental principles that could be used more broadly for small-molecule activation. Here, we discuss recent results and highlight directions for future research. In one direction, synthetic iron complexes have now been shown to bind N2, break the N-N triple bond, and produce ammonia catalytically. Carbon- and sulfur-based donors have been incorporated into the ligand spheres of Fe-N2 complexes to show how these atoms may influence the structure and reactivity of the FeMoco. Hydrides have been incorporated into synthetic systems, which can bind N2, reduce some nitrogenase substrates, and/or reductively eliminate H2 to generate reduced iron centers. Though some carbide-containing iron clusters are known, none yet have sulfide bridges or high-spin iron atoms like the FeMoco. PMID:27171599

  19. In vitro synthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor of nitrogenase from iron, sulfur, molybdenum, and homocitrate using purified proteins.

    PubMed

    Curatti, Leonardo; Hernandez, Jose A; Igarashi, Robert Y; Soboh, Basem; Zhao, Dehua; Rubio, Luis M

    2007-11-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation, the conversion of atmospheric N2 to NH3, is an essential process in the global biogeochemical cycle of nitrogen that supports life on Earth. Most of the biological nitrogen fixation is catalyzed by the molybdenum nitrogenase, which contains at its active site one of the most complex metal cofactors known to date, the iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMo-co). FeMo-co is composed of 7Fe, 9S, Mo, R-homocitrate, and one unidentified light atom. Here we demonstrate the complete in vitro synthesis of FeMo-co from Fe(2+), S(2-), MoO4(2-), and R-homocitrate using only purified Nif proteins. This synthesis provides direct biochemical support to the current model of FeMo-co biosynthesis. A minimal in vitro system, containing NifB, NifEN, and NifH proteins, together with Fe(2+), S(2-), MoO4(2-), R-homocitrate, S-adenosyl methionine, and Mg-ATP, is sufficient for the synthesis of FeMo-co and the activation of apo-dinitrogenase under anaerobic-reducing conditions. This in vitro system also provides a biochemical approach to further study the function of accessory proteins involved in nitrogenase maturation (as shown here for NifX and NafY). The significance of these findings in the understanding of the complete FeMo-co biosynthetic pathway and in the study of other complex Fe-S cluster biosyntheses is discussed. PMID:17978192

  20. Nitrogenase MoFe protein from Clostridium pasteurianum at 1.08 Å resolution: comparison with the Azotobacter vinelandii MoFe protein

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Li-Mei; Morrison, Christine N.; Kaiser, Jens T.; Rees, Douglas C.

    2015-02-01

    Determination of the nitrogenase MoFe protein from C. pasteurianum at 1.08 Å resolution and comparison to its distinct ortholog from A. vinelandii at atomic resolution reveals conserved structural arrangements that are significant to the function of nitrogenase. The X-ray crystal structure of the nitrogenase MoFe protein from Clostridium pasteurianum (Cp1) has been determined at 1.08 Å resolution by multiwavelength anomalous diffraction phasing. Cp1 and the ortholog from Azotobacter vinelandii (Av1) represent two distinct families of nitrogenases, differing primarily by a long insertion in the α-subunit and a deletion in the β-subunit of Cp1 relative to Av1. Comparison of these two MoFe protein structures at atomic resolution reveals conserved structural arrangements that are significant to the function of nitrogenase. The FeMo cofactors defining the active sites of the MoFe protein are essentially identical between the two proteins. The surrounding environment is also highly conserved, suggesting that this structural arrangement is crucial for nitrogen reduction. The P clusters are likewise similar, although the surrounding protein and solvent environment is less conserved relative to that of the FeMo cofactor. The P cluster and FeMo cofactor in Av1 and Cp1 are connected through a conserved water tunnel surrounded by similar secondary-structure elements. The long α-subunit insertion loop occludes the presumed Fe protein docking surface on Cp1 with few contacts to the remainder of the protein. This makes it plausible that this loop is repositioned to open up the Fe protein docking surface for complex formation.

  1. Light-driven carbon dioxide reduction to methane by nitrogenase in a photosynthetic bacterium.

    PubMed

    Fixen, Kathryn R; Zheng, Yanning; Harris, Derek F; Shaw, Sudipta; Yang, Zhi-Yong; Dean, Dennis R; Seefeldt, Lance C; Harwood, Caroline S

    2016-09-01

    Nitrogenase is an ATP-requiring enzyme capable of carrying out multielectron reductions of inert molecules. A purified remodeled nitrogenase containing two amino acid substitutions near the site of its FeMo cofactor was recently described as having the capacity to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) to methane (CH4). Here, we developed the anoxygenic phototroph, Rhodopseudomonas palustris, as a biocatalyst capable of light-driven CO2 reduction to CH4 in vivo using this remodeled nitrogenase. Conversion of CO2 to CH4 by R. palustris required constitutive expression of nitrogenase, which was achieved by using a variant of the transcription factor NifA that is able to activate expression of nitrogenase under all growth conditions. Also, light was required for generation of ATP by cyclic photophosphorylation. CH4 production by R. palustris could be controlled by manipulating the distribution of electrons and energy available to nitrogenase. This work shows the feasibility of using microbes to generate hydrocarbons from CO2 in one enzymatic step using light energy. PMID:27551090

  2. In-vivo study of the nuclear quadrupole interaction of99Mo (β- 99)Tc in nitrogenase of Klebsiella pneumoniaein nitrogenase of Klebsiella pneumoniae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mottner, P.; Lerf, A.; Ni, X.; Butz, T.; Erfkamp, J.; Müller, A.

    1990-08-01

    We report on the first TDPAC-measurements of the nuclear quadrupole interaction (NQI) of (NQI) of99Mo(β-)99Tc in the nitrogenase of the bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae. Because nitrogenase is the only Mo-containing enzyme in Klebsiella pneumoniae under the chosen conditions, no further isolation of this enzyme was necessary. The majority of the incorporated99Mo is subjected to a well defined NQI with ω=365(7) Mrad/s, η=1 and a reorientational correlation time of τcoττ≈10nsec and is attributed to the active site of the FeMo cofactor. During sample preparation we noted a pronounced affinity of the bacteria to99mTc.

  3. EXAFS and NRVS Reveal a Conformational Distortion of the FeMo-cofactor in the MoFe Nitrogenase Propargyl Alcohol Complex

    PubMed Central

    George, Simon J.; Barney, Brett M.; Mitra, Devrani; Igarashi, Robert Y.; Guo, Yisong; Dean, Dennis R.; Cramer, Stephen P.; Seefeldt, Lance C.

    2012-01-01

    We have used EXAFS and NRVS spectroscopies to examine the structural changes in the FeMo-cofactor active site of the α-70Ala variant of Azotobacter vinelandii nitrogenase on binding and reduction of propargyl alcohol (PA). The Mo K-edge near-edge and EXAFS spectra are very similar in the presence and absence of PA, suggesting PA does not bind at Mo. By contrast, Fe EXAFS spectra show a clear and reproducible change in the long Fe-Fe interaction at ~3.7 Å on PA binding with the apparent appearance of a new Fe-Fe interaction at 3.99 Å. An analogous change in the long Mo-Fe 5.1 Å interaction is not seen. The NRVS spectra exclude the possibility of large-scale structural change of the FeMo-cofactor involving breaking the μ2 Fe-S-Fe bonds of the Fe6S9X core. The simplest chemically consistent structural change is that the bound form of PA is coordinated at Fe atoms (Fe6 or Fe7) adjacent to the Mo terminus, with a concomitant movement of the Fe away from the central atom X and along the Fe-X bond by about 0.35 Å. This study comprises the first experimental evidence of the conformational changes of the FeMo-cofactor active site on binding a substrate or product. PMID:22564272

  4. Requirement of NifX and other nif proteins for in vitro biosynthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor of nitrogenase.

    PubMed

    Shah, V K; Rangaraj, P; Chatterjee, R; Allen, R M; Roll, J T; Roberts, G P; Ludden, P W

    1999-05-01

    The iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMo-co) of nitrogenase contains molybdenum, iron, sulfur, and homocitrate in a ratio of 1:7:9:1. In vitro synthesis of FeMo-co has been established, and the reaction requires an ATP-regenerating system, dithionite, molybdate, homocitrate, and at least NifB-co (the metabolic product of NifB), NifNE, and dinitrogenase reductase (NifH). The typical in vitro FeMo-co synthesis reaction involves mixing extracts from two different mutant strains of Azotobacter vinelandii defective in the biosynthesis of cofactor or an extract of a mutant strain complemented with the purified missing component. Surprisingly, the in vitro synthesis of FeMo-co with only purified components failed to generate significant FeMo-co, suggesting the requirement for one or more other components. Complementation of these assays with extracts of various mutant strains demonstrated that NifX has a role in synthesis of FeMo-co. In vitro synthesis of FeMo-co with purified components is stimulated approximately threefold by purified NifX. Complementation of these assays with extracts of A. vinelandii DJ42. 48 (DeltanifENX DeltavnfE) results in a 12- to 15-fold stimulation of in vitro FeMo-co synthesis activity. These data also demonstrate that apart from the NifX some other component(s) is required for the cofactor synthesis. The in vitro synthesis of FeMo-co with purified components has allowed the detection, purification, and identification of an additional component(s) required for the synthesis of cofactor. PMID:10217770

  5. Purification and characterization of the alternative nitrogenase from the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum.

    PubMed Central

    Davis, R; Lehman, L; Petrovich, R; Shah, V K; Roberts, G P; Ludden, P W

    1996-01-01

    The alternative nitrogenase from a nifH mutant of the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum has been purified and characterized. The dinitrogenase protein (ANF1) contains three subunits in an apparent alpha2beta2gamma2 structure and contains Fe but no Mo or V. A factor capable of activating apo-dinitrogenase (lacking the FeMo cofactor) from Azotobacter vinelandii was extracted from the alternative dinitrogenase protein with N-methylformamide. The electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) signal of the dinitrogenase protein is not characteristic of the EPR signals of molybdenum- or vanadium-containing dinitrogenases. The alternative dinitrogenase reductase (ANF2) was purified as an alpha2 dimer containing an Fe4S4 cluster and exhibited an EPR spectrum characteristic of dinitrogenase reductases. The enzyme complex reduces protons to H2 very well but reduces N2 to ammonium poorly. Acetylene is reduced to a mixture of ethylene and ethane. PMID:8631723

  6. Another role for CO with nitrogenase? CO stimulates hydrogen evolution catalyzed by variant Azotobacter vinelandii Mo-nitrogenases.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Karl; Hare, Nathan D; Newton, William E

    2014-10-01

    A likely entry/exit path for nitrogenase substrates, products, and/or protons involves residues α277(Arg), α192(Ser), and α356(Gly), all of which are highly conserved among MoFe proteins from different organisms. The α192(Ser) and α277(Arg) residues form part of a hydrogen-bonded network that also involves α195(His), which interacts with a FeMo cofactor-based sulfide. The terminal amino groups of α277(Arg) are also hydrogen-bonded directly to α281(Tyr), which resides at the surface of the MoFe protein. Individual amino acid substitutions placed at position α277 or α192 resulted in a variety of effects on the catalytic and/or spectroscopic properties of the resulting variant MoFe protein. Of particular interest was the effect of CO on H2 evolution catalyzed by three MoFe protein variants, α277(Cys), α192(Asp), and α192(Glu). All three variants exhibited CO stimulation of H2 evolution under high-electron flux conditions but not under low-electron flux conditions. This observation is best explained by these variants being redox-compromised but only at the most reduced redox states of the MoFe protein. Normally, these states are accessed and operational only under high-electron flux conditions, and the effect of added CO is to prevent access to these most reduced redox states, resulting in a normal rate of catalysis. Furthermore, via correlation of the effect of pH changes on H2 evolution activity for both the wild type and the α277(Cys) MoFe protein variant under argon, with or without 10% CO present, likely pathways for the delivery of a proton to the FeMo cofactor were identified. PMID:25203280

  7. Classifying the metal dependence of uncharacterized nitrogenases

    PubMed Central

    McGlynn, Shawn E.; Boyd, Eric S.; Peters, John W.; Orphan, Victoria J.

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogenase enzymes have evolved complex iron–sulfur (Fe–S) containing cofactors that most commonly contain molybdenum (MoFe, Nif) as a heterometal but also exist as vanadium (VFe, Vnf) and heterometal-independent (Fe-only, Anf) forms. All three varieties are capable of the reduction of dinitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3) but exhibit differences in catalytic rates and substrate specificity unique to metal type. Recently, N2 reduction activity was observed in archaeal methanotrophs and methanogens that encode for nitrogenase homologs which do not cluster phylogenetically with previously characterized nitrogenases. To gain insight into the metal cofactors of these uncharacterized nitrogenase homologs, predicted three-dimensional structures of the nitrogenase active site metal-cofactor binding subunits NifD, VnfD, and AnfD were generated and compared. Dendrograms based on structural similarity indicate nitrogenase homologs cluster based on heterometal content and that uncharacterized nitrogenase D homologs cluster with NifD, providing evidence that the structure of the enzyme has evolved in response to metal utilization. Characterization of the structural environment of the nitrogenase active site revealed amino acid variations that are unique to each class of nitrogenase as defined by heterometal cofactor content; uncharacterized nitrogenases contain amino acids near the active site most similar to NifD. Together, these results suggest that uncharacterized nitrogenase homologs present in numerous anaerobic methanogens, archaeal methanotrophs, and firmicutes bind FeMo-co in their active site, and add to growing evidence that diversification of metal utilization likely occurred in an anoxic habitat. PMID:23440025

  8. Nitrogenase: A Draft Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, Brian M.; Lukoyanov, Dmitriy; Dean, Dennis R.; Seefeldt, Lance C.

    2013-01-01

    Conspectus Biological nitrogen fixation — the reduction of N2 to two NH3 molecules — supports more than half the human population. This reaction is catalyzed by the enzyme nitrogenase, whose predominant form, discussed here, comprises an electron-delivery Fe protein and a catalytic MoFe protein. Nitrogenase has been studied extensively but the catalytic mechanism has remained unknown. At minimum, a mechanism must identify and characterize each intermediate formed during catalysis, and embed these intermediates within a kinetic framework that explains their dynamic interconversion. Nitrogenase kinetics have been described by the Lowe-Thorneley (LT) model, which provides rate constants for transformations among intermediates, denoted En, indexed by the number of electrons (and protons), n, that have been accumulated within the MoFe protein. However, until recently, research on purified nitrogenase had not resulted in characterization of any En state beyond Eo. In this article we summarize the recent characterization of three freeze-trapped intermediate states formed during nitrogenase catalysis, and their placement within the LT kinetic scheme. First we discuss the key E4 state, which is primed for N2 binding and reduction and which we refer to as the “Janus intermediate”. This state contains the active-site iron-molybdenum cofactor ([7Fe-9S-Mo-C-homocitrate]; FeMo-co) at its resting oxidation level, its four accumulated reducing equivalents being stored as two [Fe-H-Fe] bridging hydrides. The other two trapped intermediates contain reduced forms of N2. One, intermediate I, has S = 1/2 FeMo-co. ENDOR/HYSCORE measurements indicate that I, is the final catalytic state, E8, having NH3 product bound to FeMo-co at its resting redox level. The other characterized intermediate, designated H, has integer-spin FeMo-co (Non-Kramers; S ≥ 2). ESEEM measurements indicate that H binds the [−NH2] fragment and therefore corresponds to E7. These assignments, plus

  9. α-Hydroxy coordination of mononuclear vanadyl citrate, malate and S-citramalate with N-heterocycle ligand, implying a new protonation pathway of iron-vanadium cofactor in nitrogenase.

    PubMed

    Chen, Can-Yu; Chen, Mao-Long; Chen, Hong-Bin; Wang, Hongxin; Cramer, Stephen P; Zhou, Zhao-Hui

    2014-12-01

    Unlike the most of α-alkoxy coordination in α-hydroxycarboxylates to vanadium, novel α-hydroxy coordination to vanadium(IV) has been observed for a series of chiral and achiral monomeric α-hydroxycarboxylato vanadyl complexes [VO(H2cit)(bpy)]·2H2O (1), [VO(Hmal)(bpy)]·H2O (2), [VO(H2cit)(phen)]·1.5H2O (3), [VO(Hmal)(phen)]·H2O (4), and [(Δ)VO(S-Hcitmal)(bpy)]·2H2O (5), [VO(H2cit)(phen)]2·6.5H2O (6), which were isolated from the reactions of vanadyl sulfate with α-hydroxycarboxylates and N-heterocycle ligands in acidic solution. The complexes feature a tridentate citrate, malate or citramalate that chelates to vanadium atom through their α-hydroxy, α-carboxy and β-carboxy groups; while the other β-carboxylic acidic group of citrate is free to participate strong hydrogen bonds with lattice water molecule. The neutral α-hydroxy group also forms strong intermolecular hydrogen bonds with water molecule and the negatively-charged α-carboxy group in the environment. The inclusion of a hydrogen ion in α-alkoxy group results in the formation of a series of neutral complexes with one less positive charge. There are two different configurations of citrate with respect to the trans-position of axial oxo group, where the complex with trans-hydroxy configuration seems more stable with less hindrance. The average bond distances of V-Ohydroxy and V-Oα-carboxy are 2.196 and 2.003Å respectively, which are comparable to the VO distance (2.15Å) of homocitrate in FeV-cofactor of V-nitrogenase. A new structural model is suggested for R-homocitrato iron vanadium cofactor as VFe7S9C(R-Hhomocit) (H4homocit=homocitric acid) with one more proton in homocitrate ligand. PMID:25240212

  10. Biosynthesis of the Metalloclusters of Nitrogenases.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yilin; Ribbe, Markus W

    2016-06-01

    Nitrogenase is a versatile metalloenzyme that is capable of catalyzing two important reactions under ambient conditions: the reduction of nitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3), a key step in the global nitrogen cycle; and the reduction of carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) to hydrocarbons, two reactions useful for recycling carbon waste into carbon fuel. The molybdenum (Mo)- and vanadium (V)-nitrogenases are two homologous members of this enzyme family. Each of them contains a P-cluster and a cofactor, two high-nuclearity metalloclusters that have crucial roles in catalysis. This review summarizes the progress that has been made in elucidating the biosynthetic mechanisms of the P-cluster and cofactor species of nitrogenase, focusing on what is known about the assembly mechanisms of the two metalloclusters in Mo-nitrogenase and giving a brief account of the possible assembly schemes of their counterparts in V-nitrogenase, which are derived from the homology between the two nitrogenases. PMID:26844394

  11. Molybdenum L-Edge XAS Spectra of MoFe Nitrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Bjornsson, Ragnar; Delgado-Jaime, Mario U; Lima, Frederico A; Sippel, Daniel; Schlesier, Julia; Weyhermüller, Thomas; Einsle, Oliver; Neese, Frank; DeBeer, Serena

    2015-01-01

    A molybdenum L-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) study is presented for native and oxidized MoFe protein of nitrogenase as well as Mo-Fe model compounds. Recently collected data on MoFe protein (in oxidized and reduced forms) is compared to previously published Mo XAS data on the isolated FeMo cofactor in NMF solution and put in context of the recent Mo K-edge XAS study, which showed a MoIII assignment for the molybdenum atom in FeMoco. The L3-edge data are interpreted within a simple ligand-field model, from which a time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) approach is proposed as a way to provide further insights into the analysis of the molybdenum L3-edges. The calculated results reproduce well the relative spectral trends that are observed experimentally. Ultimately, these results give further support for the MoIII assignment in protein-bound FeMoco, as well as isolated FeMoco. PMID:26213424

  12. Nitrogenase and Homologs

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogenase catalyzes biological nitrogen fixation, a key step in the global nitrogen cycle. Three homologous nitrogenases have been identified to date, along with several structural and/or functional homologs of this enzyme that are involved in nitrogenase assembly, bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis and methanogenic process, respectively. In this article, we provide an overview of the structures and functions of nitrogenase and its homologs, which highlights the similarity and disparity of this uniquely versatile group of enzymes. PMID:25491285

  13. Uncoupling binding of substrate CO from turnover by vanadium nitrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi Chung; Fay, Aaron W.; Weng, Tsu-Chien; Krest, Courtney M.; Hedman, Britt; Hodgson, Keith O.; Hu, Yilin; Ribbe, Markus W.

    2015-01-01

    Biocatalysis by nitrogenase, particularly the reduction of N2 and CO by this enzyme, has tremendous significance in environment- and energy-related areas. Elucidation of the detailed mechanism of nitrogenase has been hampered by the inability to trap substrates or intermediates in a well-defined state. Here, we report the capture of substrate CO on the resting-state vanadium-nitrogenase in a catalytically competent conformation. The close resemblance of this active CO-bound conformation to the recently described structure of CO-inhibited molybdenum-nitrogenase points to the mechanistic relevance of sulfur displacement to the activation of iron sites in the cofactor for CO binding. Moreover, the ability of vanadium-nitrogenase to bind substrate in the resting-state uncouples substrate binding from subsequent turnover, providing a platform for generation of defined intermediate(s) of both CO and N2 reduction. PMID:26515097

  14. Molybdenum Enzymes, Cofactors, and Model Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burgmayer, S. J. N; Stiefel, E. I.

    1985-01-01

    Discusses: (l) molybdoenzymes (examining their distribution and metabolic role, composition and redox strategy, cofactors, substrate reactions, and mechanistic possibilities); (2) structural information on molybdenum (Mo) centers; (3) modeling studies (Mo-co models, nitrogenase models, and the MO-S duo); and (4) the copper-molybdenum antagonism.…

  15. Extending the carbon chain: hydrocarbon formation catalyzed by vanadium/molybdenum nitrogenases.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yilin; Lee, Chi Chung; Ribbe, Markus W

    2011-08-01

    In a small-scale reaction, vanadium-dependent nitrogenase has previously been shown to catalyze reductive catenation of carbon monoxide (CO) to ethylene, ethane, propylene, and propane. Here, we report the identification of additional hydrocarbon products [α-butylene, n-butane, and methane (CH(4))] in a scaled-up reaction featuring 20 milligrams of vanadium-iron protein, the catalytic component of vanadium nitrogenase. Additionally, we show that the more common molybdenum-dependent nitrogenase can generate the same hydrocarbons from CO, although CH(4) was not detected. The identification of CO as a substrate for both molybdenum- and vanadium-nitrogenases strengthens the hypothesis that CO reduction is an evolutionary relic of the function of the nitrogenase family. Moreover, the comparison between the CO-reducing capacities of the two nitrogenases suggests that the identity of heterometal at the active cofactor site affects the efficiency and product distribution of this reaction. PMID:21817053

  16. Nitrogenases-A Tale of Carbon Atom(s).

    PubMed

    Hu, Yilin; Ribbe, Markus W

    2016-07-11

    Named after its ability to catalyze the reduction of nitrogen to ammonia, nitrogenase has a surprising rapport with carbon-both through the interstitial carbide that resides in the central cavity of its cofactor and through its ability to catalyze the reductive carbon-carbon coupling of small carbon compounds into hydrocarbon products. Recently, a radical-SAM-dependent pathway was revealed for the insertion of carbide, which signifies a novel biosynthetic route to complex bridged metalloclusters. Moreover, a sulfur-displacement mechanism was proposed for the activation of carbon monoxide by nitrogenase, which suggests an essential role of the interstitial carbide in maintaining the stability while permitting a certain flexibility of the cofactor structure during substrate turnover. PMID:27206025

  17. Vanadium Nitrogenase Reduces CO*

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi Chung; Hu, Yilin; Ribbe, Markus W.

    2011-01-01

    Vanadium nitrogenase not only reduces dinitrogen to ammonia but also reduces carbon monoxide to ethylene, ethane, and propane. The parallelism between the two reactions suggests a potential link in mechanism and evolution between the carbon and nitrogen cycles on Earth. PMID:20689010

  18. Vanadium nitrogenase reduces CO.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chi Chung; Hu, Yilin; Ribbe, Markus W

    2010-08-01

    Vanadium nitrogenase not only reduces dinitrogen to ammonia but also reduces carbon monoxide to ethylene, ethane, and propane. The parallelism between the two reactions suggests a potential link in mechanism and evolution between the carbon and nitrogen cycles on Earth. PMID:20689010

  19. Substrate Channel in Nitrogenase Revealed by a Molecular Dynamics Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Dayle; Danyal, Karamatullah; Raugei, Simone; Seefeldt, Lance C.

    2014-03-22

    Mo-dependent nitrogenase catalyzes the biological reduction of N2 to 2NH3 at the FeMo-cofactor buried deep inside the MoFe protein. Access of substrates, such as N2, to the active site is likely restricted by the surrounding protein, requiring substrate channels that lead from the surface to the active site. Earlier studies on crystallographic structures of the MoFe protein have suggested three putative substrate channels. Here, we have utilized sub-microsecond atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to allow the nitrogenase MoFe protein to explore its conformational space in an aqueous solution at physiological ionic strength, revealing a putative substrate channel not previously reported. The viability of the proposed channel was tested by examining the free energy of passage of N2 from the surface through the channel to FeMo-cofactor, with discovery of a very low energy barrier. These studies point to a viable substrate channel in nitrogenase that appears during thermal motions of the protein in an aqueous environment that approaches a face of FeMo-cofactor earlier implicated in substrate binding.

  20. Fe and Mo EXAFS of Azotobacter vinelandii nitrogenase inpartially oxidized and singly reduced forms

    SciTech Connect

    Christiansen, J.; Tittsworth, R.C.; Hales, B.J.; Cramer, S.P. |

    1995-10-11

    Fe and Mo K-edge EXAFS spectra of the nitrogenase Mo-Fe protein in the indigo disulfonate (IDS) oxidized form and under slow turnover conditions have been recorded. The EXAFS of the one-electron reduced form E{sub 1} was obtained as a difference spectrum between the slow turnover and resting (E{sub 0}) spectra. Average Fe-S, Fe-Fe, and Fe-Mo distances of 2.33, 2.60, and 2.66A, respectively, along with a second Fe-Fe distance at 3.72 A were found for E{sub 1}. The IDS-oxidized MoFe protein contain spartially oxidized `P-clusters`. For this sample, average Fe-S,Fe-Fe, and Fe-Mo interactions at 2.31, 2.65, and 2.71 A, respectively, were found along with the long Fe-Fe interaction at 3.74 A. Combination of the current results with previous data on resting and thionin-oxidized nitrogenase shows a general trend a significant number of the metal-metal distances tend to contract as the enzyme becomes more reduced. 52 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs.

  1. Theoretical studies of homogeneous catalysts mimicking nitrogenase.

    PubMed

    Sgrignani, Jacopo; Franco, Duvan; Magistrato, Alessandra

    2011-01-01

    The conversion of molecular nitrogen to ammonia is a key biological and chemical process and represents one of the most challenging topics in chemistry and biology. In Nature the Mo-containing nitrogenase enzymes perform nitrogen 'fixation' via an iron molybdenum cofactor (FeMo-co) under ambient conditions. In contrast, industrially, the Haber-Bosch process reduces molecular nitrogen and hydrogen to ammonia with a heterogeneous iron catalyst under drastic conditions of temperature and pressure. This process accounts for the production of millions of tons of nitrogen compounds used for agricultural and industrial purposes, but the high temperature and pressure required result in a large energy loss, leading to several economic and environmental issues. During the last 40 years many attempts have been made to synthesize simple homogeneous catalysts that can activate dinitrogen under the same mild conditions of the nitrogenase enzymes. Several compounds, almost all containing transition metals, have been shown to bind and activate N₂ to various degrees. However, to date Mo(N₂)(HIPTN)₃N with (HIPTN)₃N= hexaisopropyl-terphenyl-triamidoamine is the only compound performing this process catalytically. In this review we describe how Density Functional Theory calculations have been of help in elucidating the reaction mechanisms of the inorganic compounds that activate or fix N₂. These studies provided important insights that rationalize and complement the experimental findings about the reaction mechanisms of known catalysts, predicting the reactivity of new potential catalysts and helping in tailoring new efficient catalytic compounds. PMID:21221062

  2. Posttranslational modification of a vanadium nitrogenase.

    PubMed

    Heiniger, Erin K; Harwood, Caroline S

    2015-08-01

    In microbes that fix nitrogen, nitrogenase catalyzes the conversion of N2 to ammonia in an ATP-demanding reaction. To help conserve energy some bacteria inhibit nitrogenase activity upon exposure to ammonium. The purple nonsulfur phototrophic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris strain CGA009 can synthesize three functional nitrogenase isoenzymes: a molybdenum nitrogenase, a vanadium nitrogenase, and an iron nitrogenase. Previous studies showed that in some alphaproteobacteria, including R. palustris, molybdenum nitrogenase activity is inhibited by ADP-ribosylation when cells are exposed to ammonium. Some iron nitrogenases are also posttranslationally modified. However, the posttranslational modification of vanadium nitrogenase has not been reported. Here, we investigated the regulation of the alternative nitrogenases of R. palustris and determined that both its vanadium nitrogenase and its iron nitrogenase activities were inhibited and posttranslationally modified when cells are exposed to ammonium. Vanadium nitrogenase is not found in all strains of R. palustris, suggesting that it may have been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Also, phylogenetic analyses of the three nitrogenases suggest that VnfH, the target of ADP-ribosylation, may be the product of a gene duplication of nifH, the molybdenum nitrogenase homolog. PMID:26097040

  3. Posttranslational modification of a vanadium nitrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Heiniger, Erin K; Harwood, Caroline S

    2015-01-01

    In microbes that fix nitrogen, nitrogenase catalyzes the conversion of N2 to ammonia in an ATP-demanding reaction. To help conserve energy some bacteria inhibit nitrogenase activity upon exposure to ammonium. The purple nonsulfur phototrophic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris strain CGA009 can synthesize three functional nitrogenase isoenzymes: a molybdenum nitrogenase, a vanadium nitrogenase, and an iron nitrogenase. Previous studies showed that in some alphaproteobacteria, including R. palustris, molybdenum nitrogenase activity is inhibited by ADP-ribosylation when cells are exposed to ammonium. Some iron nitrogenases are also posttranslationally modified. However, the posttranslational modification of vanadium nitrogenase has not been reported. Here, we investigated the regulation of the alternative nitrogenases of R. palustris and determined that both its vanadium nitrogenase and its iron nitrogenase activities were inhibited and posttranslationally modified when cells are exposed to ammonium. Vanadium nitrogenase is not found in all strains of R. palustris, suggesting that it may have been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Also, phylogenetic analyses of the three nitrogenases suggest that VnfH, the target of ADP-ribosylation, may be the product of a gene duplication of nifH, the molybdenum nitrogenase homolog. PMID:26097040

  4. Reconstruction and minimal gene requirements for the alternative iron-only nitrogenase in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jianguo; Xie, Xiaqing; Wang, Xia; Dixon, Ray; Wang, Yi-Ping

    2014-09-01

    All diazotrophic organisms sequenced to date encode a molybdenum-dependent nitrogenase, but some also have alternative nitrogenases that are dependent on either vanadium (VFe) or iron only (FeFe) for activity. In Azotobacter vinelandii, expression of the three different types of nitrogenase is regulated in response to metal availability. The majority of genes required for nitrogen fixation in this organism are encoded in the nitrogen fixation (nif) gene clusters, whereas genes specific for vanadium- or iron-dependent diazotophy are encoded by the vanadium nitrogen fixation (vnf) and alternative nitrogen fixation (anf) genes, respectively. Due to the complexities of metal-dependent regulation and gene redundancy in A. vinelandii, it has been difficult to determine the precise genetic requirements for alternative nitrogen fixation. In this study, we have used Escherichia coli as a chassis to build an artificial iron-only (Anf) nitrogenase system composed of defined anf and nif genes. Using this system, we demonstrate that the pathway for biosynthesis of the iron-only cofactor (FeFe-co) is likely to be simpler than the pathway for biosynthesis of the molybdenum-dependent cofactor (FeMo-co) equivalent. A number of genes considered to be essential for nitrogen fixation by FeFe nitrogenase, including nifM, vnfEN, and anfOR, are not required for the artificial Anf system in E. coli. This finding has enabled us to engineer a minimal FeFe nitrogenase system comprising the structural anfHDGK genes and the nifBUSV genes required for metallocluster biosynthesis, with nifF and nifJ providing electron transport to the alternative nitrogenase. This minimal Anf system has potential implications for engineering diazotrophy in eukaryotes, particularly in compartments (e.g., organelles) where molybdenum may be limiting. PMID:25139995

  5. Reconstruction and minimal gene requirements for the alternative iron-only nitrogenase in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jianguo; Xie, Xiaqing; Wang, Xia; Dixon, Ray; Wang, Yi-Ping

    2014-01-01

    All diazotrophic organisms sequenced to date encode a molybdenum-dependent nitrogenase, but some also have alternative nitrogenases that are dependent on either vanadium (VFe) or iron only (FeFe) for activity. In Azotobacter vinelandii, expression of the three different types of nitrogenase is regulated in response to metal availability. The majority of genes required for nitrogen fixation in this organism are encoded in the nitrogen fixation (nif) gene clusters, whereas genes specific for vanadium- or iron-dependent diazotophy are encoded by the vanadium nitrogen fixation (vnf) and alternative nitrogen fixation (anf) genes, respectively. Due to the complexities of metal-dependent regulation and gene redundancy in A. vinelandii, it has been difficult to determine the precise genetic requirements for alternative nitrogen fixation. In this study, we have used Escherichia coli as a chassis to build an artificial iron-only (Anf) nitrogenase system composed of defined anf and nif genes. Using this system, we demonstrate that the pathway for biosynthesis of the iron-only cofactor (FeFe-co) is likely to be simpler than the pathway for biosynthesis of the molybdenum-dependent cofactor (FeMo-co) equivalent. A number of genes considered to be essential for nitrogen fixation by FeFe nitrogenase, including nifM, vnfEN, and anfOR, are not required for the artificial Anf system in E. coli. This finding has enabled us to engineer a minimal FeFe nitrogenase system comprising the structural anfHDGK genes and the nifBUSV genes required for metallocluster biosynthesis, with nifF and nifJ providing electron transport to the alternative nitrogenase. This minimal Anf system has potential implications for engineering diazotrophy in eukaryotes, particularly in compartments (e.g., organelles) where molybdenum may be limiting. PMID:25139995

  6. Molybdenum Nitrogenase Catalyzes the Reduction and Coupling of CO to Form Hydrocarbons*♦

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zhi-Yong; Dean, Dennis R.; Seefeldt, Lance C.

    2011-01-01

    The molybdenum-dependent nitrogenase catalyzes the multi-electron reduction of protons and N2 to yield H2 and 2NH3. It also catalyzes the reduction of a number of non-physiological doubly and triply bonded small molecules (e.g. C2H2, N2O). Carbon monoxide (CO) is not reduced by the wild-type molybdenum nitrogenase but instead inhibits the reduction of all substrates catalyzed by nitrogenase except protons. Here, we report that when the nitrogenase MoFe protein α-Val70 residue is substituted by alanine or glycine, the resulting variant proteins will catalyze the reduction and coupling of CO to form methane (CH4), ethane (C2H6), ethylene (C2H4), propene (C3H6), and propane (C3H8). The rates and ratios of hydrocarbon production from CO can be adjusted by changing the flux of electrons through nitrogenase, by substitution of other amino acids located near the FeMo-cofactor, or by changing the partial pressure of CO. Increasing the partial pressure of CO shifted the product ratio in favor of the longer chain alkanes and alkenes. The implications of these findings in understanding the nitrogenase mechanism and the relationship to Fischer-Tropsch production of hydrocarbons from CO are discussed. PMID:21454640

  7. Extending the Carbon Chain: Hydrocarbon Formation Catalyzed by Vanadium/Molybdenum Nitrogenases*

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yilin; Lee, Chi Chung; Ribbe, Markus W.

    2011-01-01

    Vanadium-dependent nitrogenase was previously shown in a small-scale reaction to catalyze reductive catenation of CO to C2H4, C2H6, C3H6 and C3H8. Here, we report the identification of additional hydrocarbon products, α-C4H8, n-C4H10 and CH4, in a scaled-up reaction featuring 20 milligrams of vanadium-iron protein, the catalytic component of vanadium nitrogenase. Additionally, we show that the more common molybdenum-dependent nitrogenase can generate the same hydrocarbons from CO, although CH4 was not detected. The identification of CO as a substrate for both molybdenum- and vanadium-nitrogenases strengthens the hypothesis that CO-reduction is an evolutionary relic of the function of the nitrogenase family; moreover, the comparison between the CO-reducing capacities of the two nitrogenases suggests that the identity of heterometal at the active cofactor site impacts the efficiency and product distribution of this reaction. PMID:21817053

  8. Functional expression of the FeMo-cofactor-specific biosynthetic genes nifEN as a NifE-N fusion protein synthesizing unit in Azotobacter vinelandii.

    PubMed

    Suh, Man Hee; Pulakat, Lakshmi; Gavini, Nara

    2002-11-29

    The nifEN encodes an E2N2 tetrameric metalloprotein complex that serves as scaffold for assembly of the FeMo cofactor of nitrogenase. In most diazotrophs, the NifE and NifN are translated as separate polypeptides and then assembled into tetrameric E2N2 complex. However, in Anabaena variabilis which has two nif clusters that encode two different NifEN complexes, the NifEN2 is encoded by a single nifE-N like gene, which has high homology to the NifE at amino-terminus and to the NifN at the carboxy-terminus. These observations implied that a metalloprotein like NifEN can accommodate large variations in their amino acid composition and also in the way they are synthesized (as two separate proteins or as a single protein) and yet remain functional. In Azotobacter vinelandii NifE and NifN are synthesized separately. To test whether NifEN could retain its functionality when encoded by a single gene, we generated a translational fusion of the nifE and nifN genes of A. vinelandii that could encode a large NifE-N fusion protein. When expressed in the nifEN-minus strain of A. vinelandii, the nifE-N gene fusion could complement the NifEN function. Western blot analysis by using polyclonal NifEN antibodies revealed that the complementing nifEN product is a large NifE-N fusion protein unit. The fact that the gene fusion of nifE-N specifies a functional NifE-N fusion protein reflects that these metalloproteins can accommodate a wide range of flexibility in their gene organization, structure, and assembly. PMID:12437975

  9. Protection of nitrogenase in Azotobacter vinelandii.

    PubMed

    Shah, V K; Pate, J L; Brill, W J

    1973-07-01

    The site or sites that protect nitrogenase from O(2) inactivation in vivo are sensitive to sodium azide or 2,4-dinitrophenol. Both components of nitrogenase can be synthesized when oxidative phosphorylation is disrupted. PMID:4717512

  10. Refining the pathway of carbide insertion into the nitrogenase M-cluster

    PubMed Central

    Wiig, Jared A.; Hu, Yilin; Ribbe, Markus W.

    2015-01-01

    Carbide insertion plays a pivotal role in the biosynthesis of M-cluster, the cofactor of nitrogenase. Previously, we proposed a carbide insertion pathway involving methyltransfer from SAM to a FeS precursor and hydrogen abstraction from this methyl group that initiates the radical-based precursor maturation. Here we demonstrate that the methyl group is transferred to a precursor-associated sulfur before hydrogen abstraction, thereby refining the initial steps of the carbide insertion pathway. PMID:26259825

  11. A molecular pathway for the egress of ammonia produced by nitrogenase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dance, Ian

    2013-11-01

    Nitrogenase converts N2 to NH3, at one face of an Fe-Mo-S cluster (FeMo-co) buried in the protein. Through exploration of cavities in the structures of nitrogenase proteins, a pathway for the egress of ammonia from its generation site to the external medium is proposed. This pathway is conserved in the three species Azotobacter vinelandii, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Clostridium pasteurianum. A molecular mechanism for the translocation of NH3 by skipping through a sequence of hydrogen bonds involving eleven water molecules and surrounding aminoacids has been developed. The putative mechanism requires movement aside of some water molecules by up to ~ 1Å. Consistent with this, the surrounding protein is comprised of different chains and has little secondary structure: protein fluctuations are part of the mechanism. This NH3 pathway is well separated from the water chain and embedded proton wire that have been proposed for serial supply of protons to FeMo-co. Verification procedures are suggested.

  12. Oxidative decoupling of the MoFe[sub 3]S[sub 4] clusters and possible relevance to the oxidative degradation of the nitrogenase cofactor. Isolation and structural characterization of the [(Cl[sub 4]cat)Mo(O)([mu]-S)[sub 2]FeCl[sub 2

    SciTech Connect

    Coucouvanis, D.; Al-Ahmad, S.; Kim, C.G.; Mosier, P.E.; Kampf, J.W. )

    1993-04-28

    Recently the authors reported on the syntheses and structural characterization of singly-bridged and doubly-bridged double-cubanes that contain two Fe[sub 4]S[sub 4] or two MoFe[sub 3]S[sub 4] subunits respectively. They proposed these molecules as conceptually relevant for the design and synthesis of speculative models for the active site of nitrogenase. In this communication, the authors report on the oxidative degradation of the MoFe[sub 3]S[sub 4] structural units in the [[MoFe[sub 3]S[sub 4]Cl[sub 2](Cl[sub 4]cat)][sub 2]([mu][sub 2]-S)([mu][sub 2]-L)][sup n[minus

  13. Docking and Migration of Carbon Monoxide in Nitrogenase: The Case for Gated Pockets from IR Spectroscopy and Molecular Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Gee, Leland B.; Leontyev, Igor; Stuchebrukhov, Alexei; Scott, Aubrey D.; Pelmenschikov, Vladimir; Cramer, Stephen P.

    2015-01-01

    Evidence for a CO docking site near the FeMo-cofactor in nitrogenase has been obtained by FT-IR monitored low temperature photolysis. We investigated the possible migration paths for CO from this docking site using molecular dynamics calculations. The simulations support the notion of a gas channel with multiple internal pockets from the active site to the protein exterior. Travel between pockets is gated by motion of protein residues. Implications for the mechanism of nitrogenase reactions with CO and N2 are discussed. PMID:25919807

  14. Expression of the nifBfdxNnifOQ region of Azotobacter vinelandii and its role in nitrogenase activity.

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Quiñones, F; Bosch, R; Imperial, J

    1993-01-01

    The nifBQ transcriptional unit of Azotobacter vinelandii has been previously shown to be required for activity of the three nitrogenase systems, Mo nitrogenase, V nitrogenase, and Fe nitrogenase, present in this organism. We studied regulation of expression and the role of the nifBQ region by means of translational beta-galactosidase fusions to each of the five open reading frames: nifB, orf2 (fdxN), orf3 (nifO), nifQ, and orf5. Expression of the first three open reading frames was observed under all three diazotrophic conditions; expression of orf5 was never observed. Genes nifB and fdxN were expressed at similar levels. With Mo, expression of nifO and nifQ was approximately 20- and approximately 400-fold lower than that of fdxN, respectively. Without Mo, expression of nifB dropped three- to fourfold and that of nifQ dropped to the detection limit. However, expression of nifO increased threefold. The products of nifB, fdxN, nifO, and nifQ have been visualized in A. vinelandii as beta-galactosidase fusion proteins with the expected molecular masses. The NifB- fusion lacked activity for any of the three nitrogenase systems and showed an iron-molybdenum cofactor-deficient phenotype in the presence of Mo. The FdxN- mutation resulted in reduced nitrogenase activities, especially when V was present. Dinitrogenase activity in extracts was similarly affected, suggesting a role of FdxN in iron-molybdenum cofactor synthesis. The NifO(-)-producing mutation did not affect any of the nitrogenases under standard diazotrophic conditions. The NifQ(-)-producing mutation resulted in an increased (approximately 1,000-fold) Mo requirement for Mo nitrogenase activity, a phenotype already observed with Klebsiella pneumoniae. No effect of the NifQ(-)-producing mutation on V or Fe nitrogenase was found; this is consistent with its very low expression under those conditions. Mutations in orf5 had no effect on nitrogenase activity. Images PMID:8491713

  15. Vanadium Nitrogenase: A Two-Hit Wonder?

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yilin; Lee, Chi Chung; Ribbe, Markus W.

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogenase catalyzes the biological conversion of atmospheric dinitrogen to bioavailable ammonia. The molybdenum (Mo)- and vanadium (V)-dependent nitrogenases are two homologous members of this metalloenzyme family. However, despite their similarities in structure and function, the characterization of V-nitrogenase has taken a much longer and more winding path than that of its Mo-counterpart. From the initial discovery of this nitrogen-fixing system, to the recent finding of its CO-reducing capacity, V-nitrogenase has proven to be a two-hit wonder in the over-a-century-long research of nitrogen fixation. This perspective provides a brief account of the catalytic function and structural basis of V-nitrogenase, as well as a short discussion of the theoretical and practical potentials of this unique metalloenzyme. PMID:22101422

  16. Vanadium nitrogenase: a two-hit wonder?

    PubMed

    Hu, Yilin; Lee, Chi Chung; Ribbe, Markus W

    2012-01-28

    Nitrogenase catalyzes the biological conversion of atmospheric dinitrogen to bioavailable ammonia. The molybdenum (Mo)- and vanadium (V)-dependent nitrogenases are two homologous members of this metalloenzyme family. However, despite their similarities in structure and function, the characterization of V-nitrogenase has taken a much longer and more winding path than that of its Mo-counterpart. From the initial discovery of this nitrogen-fixing system, to the recent finding of its CO-reducing capacity, V-nitrogenase has proven to be a two-hit wonder in the over-a-century-long research of nitrogen fixation. This perspective provides a brief account of the catalytic function and structural basis of V-nitrogenase, as well as a short discussion of the theoretical and practical potentials of this unique metalloenzyme. PMID:22101422

  17. EXAFS of Klebsiella pneumoniae nitrogenase MoFe protein from wild-type and nif V mutant strains

    SciTech Connect

    Eidsness, M.K.; Flank, A.M.; Smith, B.E.; Flood, A.C.; Garner, C.D.; Cramer. S.P.

    1986-05-14

    The enzyme nitrogenase catalyzes the biological reduction of N/sub 2/ to NH/sub 3/. In Klebsiella pneumoniae a cluster of 17 genes in seven transcriptional units has been associated with nitrogen fixation. The nitrogenase enzyme from the nif V mutants is relatively ineffective at dinitrogen reduction, is more efficient than the wild-type enzyme at HCN reduction, and has its hydrogen evolution activity inhibited up to 80% by CO. This altered substrate specificity has been shown to be associated with the iron-molybdenum cofactor, FeMo-co, of the enzyme. X-ray absorption spectroscopy has been a valuable tool for probing the molybdenum environment of wild-type nitrogenase, and the authors report here similar studies on the Nif V/sup -/ enzyme.

  18. Widening the Product Profile of Carbon Dioxide Reduction by Vanadium Nitrogenase.

    PubMed

    Rebelein, Johannes G; Hu, Yilin; Ribbe, Markus W

    2015-09-21

    Two reaction systems based on vanadium nitrogenase were previously shown to reduce CO2 to hydrocarbons: 1) an enzyme-based system that used both components of V nitrogenase for ATP-dependent reduction of CO2 to ≤C2 hydrocarbons; and 2) a cofactor-based system that employed SmI2 to supply electrons to the isolated V cluster for an ATP-independent reduction of CO2 to ≤C3 hydrocarbons. Here, we report ATP-independent reduction of CO2 to hydrocarbons by a reaction system comprising Eu(II) DTPA and the VFe protein of V nitrogenase. Combining features of both enzyme- and cofactor-based systems, this system exhibits improved C-C coupling and a broader product profile of ≤C4 hydrocarbons. The C-C coupling does not employ CO2 -derived CO, and it is significantly enhanced in D2 O. These observations afford initial insights into the characteristics of this unique reaction and provide a potential template for future design of catalysts to recycle the greenhouse gas CO2 into useful products. PMID:26266490

  19. Nitrogenase Reduction of Carbon-Containing Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Seefeldt, Lance C.; Yang, Zhi-Yong; Duval, Simon; Dean, Dennis R.

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogenase is an enzyme found in many bacteria and archaea that catalyzes biological dinitrogen fixation, the reduction of N2 to NH3, accounting for the major input of fixed nitrogen into the biogeochemical N cycle. In addition to reducing N2 and protons, nitrogenase can reduce a number of small, non-physiological substrates. Among these alternative substrates are included a wide array of carbon containing compounds. These compounds have provided unique insights into aspects of the nitrogenase mechanism. Recently, it was shown that carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) can also be reduced by nitrogenase to yield hydrocarbons, opening new insights into the mechanism of small molecule activation and reduction by this complex enzyme as well as providing clues for the design of novel molecular catalysts. PMID:23597875

  20. Molybdenum cofactor deficiency.

    PubMed

    Atwal, Paldeep S; Scaglia, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Molybdenum cofactor deficiency (MoCD) is a severe autosomal recessive inborn error of metabolism first described in 1978. It is characterized by a neonatal presentation of intractable seizures, feeding difficulties, severe developmental delay, microcephaly with brain atrophy and coarse facial features. MoCD results in deficiency of the molybdenum cofactor dependent enzymes sulfite oxidase, xanthine dehydrogenase, aldehyde oxidase and mitochondrial amidoxime reducing component. The resultant accumulation of sulfite, taurine, S-sulfocysteine and thiosulfate contributes to the severe neurological impairment. Recently, initial evidence has demonstrated early treatment with cyclic PMP can turn MoCD type A from a previously neonatal lethal condition with only palliative options, to near normal neurological outcomes in affected patients. We review MoCD and focus on describing the currently published evidence of this exciting new therapeutic option for MoCD type A caused by pathogenic variants in MOCD1. PMID:26653176

  1. Kinetic and spectroscopic studies on nitrogenase

    SciTech Connect

    Gutheil, W.G.

    1989-01-01

    A detailed procedure and description of the apparatus used for the purification of sodium dithionite obtained from commercial sources is presented with yields 98+% pure material with yields of 25-35%. The effect of the purified dithionite on nitrogenase specific activities was determined and found to be insignificant. Mass spectra analysis of the P{sub i} obtained from nitrogenase catalyzed labeled ATP hydrolysis indicated that nitrogenase acts as a normal ATPase catalyzing nucleophilic attack at the {lambda} phosphorus atom of ATP. Recovered ATP was analyzed for positional isotope exchange (PIX) by {sup 31}P NMR. A numerical model to quantitatively interpret these results in terms of the currently available information on the kinetics of nitrogenase catalyzed ATP hydrolysis was developed. CD monitored titrations of the oxidized Fe protein at 360 nm with MgADP and MgATP are presented. Data were analyzed by fitting to models where cooperativity was allowed or not allowed. Analytical and numerical solutions for non cooperative and cooperative models were implemented. Statistical analysis of the data are presented and discussed as supporting non cooperative vs. cooperative behavior between the nucleotide binding sites. The thermodynamic analysis and incorporation of redox data allow a proposed model of the interactions between the ligand binding sites and the redox center of this protein to be presented. Several complete spectral titrations with various nucleotide analogs are also presented.

  2. Fe Protein-Independent Substrate Reduction by Nitrogenase MoFe Protein Variants

    SciTech Connect

    Danyal, Karamatullah; Rasmussen, Andrew J.; Keable, Stephen M.; Inglet, Boyd S.; Shaw, Sudipta; Zadvornyy, Oleg; Duval, Simon S.; Dean, Dennis R.; Raugei, Simone; Peters, John W.; Seefeldt, Lance C.

    2015-04-21

    The reduction of substrates catalyzed by nitrogenase normally requires nucleotide-dependent Fe protein delivery of electrons to the MoFe protein, which contains the active site FeMo-cofactor. Here, it is reported that independent substitution of three amino acids (ß-98Tyr→His, α-64Tyr→His, and ß-99Phe→His) located between the P cluster and FeMo-cofactor within the MoFe protein endows it with the ability to reduce protons to H2, azide to ammonia, and hydrazine to ammonia without the need for Fe protein or ATP. Instead, electrons can be provided by the low potential reductant polyaminocarboxylate ligated Eu(II) (Em -1.1 to -0.84 V vs NHE). The crystal structure of the ß-98Tyr→His variant MoFe protein was determined, revealing only small changes near the amino acid substitution that affect the solvent structure and immediate vicinity between the P cluster and the FeMo-cofactor, with no global conformational changes observed. Computational normal mode analysis on the nitrogenase complex reveal coupling in the motions of the Fe protein and the region of the MoFe protein with these three amino acids, which suggests a possible mechanism for how Fe protein might communicate deep within the MoFe protein subtle changes that profoundly affect intramolecular electron transfer and substrate reduction. This work was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (MCB-1330807) to JWP and LCS. This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (DE-SC0010687 and DE-SC0010834 to LCS and DRD) and the Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Bio-Sciences (SR). The coordinates for the ß-98His MoFe protein were deposited with the Protein Data Bank (PDB 4XPI).

  3. Structural Framework for Metal Incorporation during Molybdenum Cofactor Biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Kasaragod, Vikram Babu; Schindelin, Hermann

    2016-05-01

    The molybdenum cofactor (Moco) is essential for the catalytic activity of all molybdenum-containing enzymes with the exception of nitrogenase. Moco biosynthesis follows an evolutionarily highly conserved pathway and genetic deficiencies in the corresponding human enzymes result in Moco deficiency, which manifests itself in severe neurological symptoms and death in childhood. In humans the final steps of Moco biosynthesis are catalyzed by gephyrin, specifically the penultimate adenylation of molybdopterin (MPT) by its N-terminal G domain (GephG) and the final metal incorporation by its C-terminal E domain (GephE). To better understand the poorly defined molecular framework of this final step, we determined high-resolution crystal structures of GephE in the apo state and in complex with ADP, AMP, and molybdate. Our data provide novel insights into the catalytic steps leading to final Moco maturation, namely deadenylation as well as molybdate binding and insertion. PMID:27112598

  4. Biosynthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor and the molybdenum cofactor in Klebsiella pneumoniae: effect of sulfur source.

    PubMed Central

    Ugalde, R A; Imperial, J; Shah, V K; Brill, W J

    1985-01-01

    NifQ- and Mol- mutants of Klebsiella pneumoniae show an elevated molybdenum requirement for nitrogen fixation. Substitution of cystine for sulfate as the sulfur source in the medium reduced the molybdenum requirement of these mutants to levels required by the wild type. Cystine also increased the intracellular molybdenum accumulation of NifQ- and Mol- mutants. Cystine did not affect the molybdenum requirement or accumulation in wild-type K. pneumoniae. Sulfate transport and metabolism in K. pneumoniae were repressed by cystine. However, the effect of cystine on the molybdenum requirement could not be explained by an interaction between sulfate and molybdate at the transport level. Cystine increased the molybdenum requirement of Mol- mutants for nitrate reductase activity by at least 100-fold. Cystine had the same effect on the molybdenum requirement for nitrate reductase activity in Escherichia coli ChlD- mutants. This shows that cystine does not have a generalized effect on molybdenum metabolism. Millimolar concentrations of molybdate inhibited nitrogenase and nitrate reductase derepression with sulfate as the sulfur source, but not with cystine. The inhibition was the result of a specific antagonism of sulfate metabolism by molybdate. The effects of nifQ and mol mutations on nitrogenase could be suppressed either by the addition of cystine or by high concentrations of molybdate. This suggests that a sulfur donor and molybdenum interact at an early step in the biosynthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor. This interaction might occur nonenzymatically when the levels of the reactants are high. PMID:3905765

  5. Multiple Amino Acid Sequence Alignment Nitrogenase Component 1: Insights into Phylogenetics and Structure-Function Relationships

    PubMed Central

    Howard, James B.; Kechris, Katerina J.; Rees, Douglas C.; Glazer, Alexander N.

    2013-01-01

    Amino acid residues critical for a protein's structure-function are retained by natural selection and these residues are identified by the level of variance in co-aligned homologous protein sequences. The relevant residues in the nitrogen fixation Component 1 α- and β-subunits were identified by the alignment of 95 protein sequences. Proteins were included from species encompassing multiple microbial phyla and diverse ecological niches as well as the nitrogen fixation genotypes, anf, nif, and vnf, which encode proteins associated with cofactors differing at one metal site. After adjusting for differences in sequence length, insertions, and deletions, the remaining >85% of the sequence co-aligned the subunits from the three genotypes. Six Groups, designated Anf, Vnf , and Nif I-IV, were assigned based upon genetic origin, sequence adjustments, and conserved residues. Both subunits subdivided into the same groups. Invariant and single variant residues were identified and were defined as “core” for nitrogenase function. Three species in Group Nif-III, Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator, Desulfotomaculum kuznetsovii, and Thermodesulfatator indicus, were found to have a seleno-cysteine that replaces one cysteinyl ligand of the 8Fe:7S, P-cluster. Subsets of invariant residues, limited to individual groups, were identified; these unique residues help identify the gene of origin (anf, nif, or vnf) yet should not be considered diagnostic of the metal content of associated cofactors. Fourteen of the 19 residues that compose the cofactor pocket are invariant or single variant; the other five residues are highly variable but do not correlate with the putative metal content of the cofactor. The variable residues are clustered on one side of the cofactor, away from other functional centers in the three dimensional structure. Many of the invariant and single variant residues were not previously recognized as potentially critical and their identification provides the bases

  6. Cofactor squelching: Artifact or fact?

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Søren Fisker; Larsen, Bjørk Ditlev; Loft, Anne; Mandrup, Susanne

    2016-07-01

    Cofactor squelching is the term used to describe competition between transcription factors (TFs) for a limited amount of cofactors in a cell with the functional consequence that TFs in a given cell interfere with the activity of each other. Since cofactor squelching was proposed based primarily on reporter assays some 30 years ago, it has remained controversial, and the idea that it could be a physiologically relevant mechanism for transcriptional repression has not received much support. However, recent genome-wide studies have demonstrated that signal-dependent TFs are very often absent from the enhancers that are acutely repressed by those signals, which is consistent with an indirect mechanism of repression such as squelching. Here we review these recent studies in the light of the classical studies of cofactor squelching, and we discuss how TF cooperativity in so-called hotspots and super-enhancers may sensitize these to cofactor squelching. PMID:27273739

  7. Unification of reaction pathway and kinetic scheme for N2 reduction catalyzed by nitrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Lukoyanov, Dmitriy; Yang, Zhi-Yong; Barney, Brett M.; Dean, Dennis R.; Seefeldt, Lance C.; Hoffman, Brian M.

    2012-01-01

    Nitrogenase catalyzes the reduction of N2 and protons to yield two NH3 and one H2. Substrate binding occurs at a complex organo-metallocluster called FeMo-cofactor (FeMo-co). Each catalytic cycle involves the sequential delivery of eight electrons/protons to this cluster, and this process has been framed within a kinetic scheme developed by Lowe and Thorneley. Rapid freezing of a modified nitrogenase under turnover conditions using diazene, methyldiazene (HN = N-CH3), or hydrazine as substrate recently was shown to trap a common intermediate, designated I. It was further concluded that the two N-atoms of N2 are hydrogenated alternately (“Alternating” (A) pathway). In the present work, Q-band CW EPR and 95Mo ESEEM spectroscopy reveal such samples also contain a common intermediate with FeMo-co in an integer-spin state having a ground-state “non-Kramers” doublet. This species, designated H, has been characterized by ESEEM spectroscopy using a combination of 14,15N isotopologs plus 1,2H isotopologs of methyldiazene. It is concluded that: H has NH2 bound to FeMo-co and corresponds to the penultimate intermediate of N2 hydrogenation, the state formed after the accumulation of seven electrons/protons and the release of the first NH3; I corresponds to the final intermediate in N2 reduction, the state formed after accumulation of eight electrons/protons, with NH3 still bound to FeMo-co prior to release and regeneration of resting-state FeMo-co. A proposed unification of the Lowe-Thorneley kinetic model with the “prompt” alternating reaction pathway represents a draft mechanism for N2 reduction by nitrogenase. PMID:22460797

  8. Distribution of nitrogen fixation and nitrogenase-like sequences amongst microbial genomes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The metabolic capacity for nitrogen fixation is known to be present in several prokaryotic species scattered across taxonomic groups. Experimental detection of nitrogen fixation in microbes requires species-specific conditions, making it difficult to obtain a comprehensive census of this trait. The recent and rapid increase in the availability of microbial genome sequences affords novel opportunities to re-examine the occurrence and distribution of nitrogen fixation genes. The current practice for computational prediction of nitrogen fixation is to use the presence of the nifH and/or nifD genes. Results Based on a careful comparison of the repertoire of nitrogen fixation genes in known diazotroph species we propose a new criterion for computational prediction of nitrogen fixation: the presence of a minimum set of six genes coding for structural and biosynthetic components, namely NifHDK and NifENB. Using this criterion, we conducted a comprehensive search in fully sequenced genomes and identified 149 diazotrophic species, including 82 known diazotrophs and 67 species not known to fix nitrogen. The taxonomic distribution of nitrogen fixation in Archaea was limited to the Euryarchaeota phylum; within the Bacteria domain we predict that nitrogen fixation occurs in 13 different phyla. Of these, seven phyla had not hitherto been known to contain species capable of nitrogen fixation. Our analyses also identified protein sequences that are similar to nitrogenase in organisms that do not meet the minimum-gene-set criteria. The existence of nitrogenase-like proteins lacking conserved co-factor ligands in both diazotrophs and non-diazotrophs suggests their potential for performing other, as yet unidentified, metabolic functions. Conclusions Our predictions expand the known phylogenetic diversity of nitrogen fixation, and suggest that this trait may be much more common in nature than it is currently thought. The diverse phylogenetic distribution of nitrogenase

  9. In vitro synthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor and maturation of the nif-encoded apodinitrogenase. Effect of substitution of VNFH for NIFH.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, R; Allen, R M; Ludden, P W; Shah, V K

    1997-08-22

    NIFH (the nifH gene product) has several functions in the nitrogenase enzyme system. In addition to reducing dinitrogenase during nitrogenase turnover, NIFH functions in the biosynthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMo-co), and in the processing of alpha2beta2 apodinitrogenase 1 (a catalytically inactive form of dinitrogenase 1 that lacks the FeMo-co) to the FeMo-co-activatable alpha2beta2gamma2 form. The molybdenum-independent nitrogenase 2 (vnf-encoded) has a distinct dinitrogenase reductase protein, VNFH. We investigated the ability of VNFH to function in the in vitro biosynthesis of FeMo-co and in the maturation of apodinitrogenase 1. VNFH can replace NIFH in both the biosynthesis of FeMo-co and in the maturation of apodinitrogenase 1. These results suggest that the dinitrogenase reductase proteins do not specify the heterometal incorporated into the cofactors of the respective nitrogenase enzymes. The specificity for the incorporation of molybdenum into FeMo-co was also examined using the in vitro FeMo-co synthesis assay system. PMID:9261182

  10. Differential reduction of CO₂ by molybdenum and vanadium nitrogenases.

    PubMed

    Rebelein, Johannes G; Hu, Yilin; Ribbe, Markus W

    2014-10-20

    The molybdenum and vanadium nitrogenases are two homologous enzymes with distinct structural and catalytic features. Previously, it was demonstrated that the V nitrogenase was nearly 700 times more active than its Mo counterpart in reducing CO to hydrocarbons. Herein, a similar discrepancy between the two nitrogenases in the reduction of CO2 is reported, with the V nitrogenase being capable of reducing CO2 to CO, CD4, C2D4, and C2D6, and its Mo counterpart only capable of reducing CO2 to CO. Furthermore, it is shown that the V nitrogenase may direct the formation of CD4 in part via CO2-derived CO, but that it does not catalyze the formation of C2D4 and C2D6 along this route. The exciting observation of a V nitrogenase-catalyzed C-C coupling with CO2 as the origin of the building blocks adds another interesting reaction to the catalytic repertoire of this unique enzyme system. The differential activities of the V and Mo nitrogenases in CO2 reduction provide an important framework for systematic investigations of this reaction in the future. PMID:25205285

  11. Structural insights into a protein-bound iron-molybdenum cofactor precursor

    PubMed Central

    Corbett, Mary C.; Hu, Yilin; Fay, Aaron W.; Ribbe, Markus W.; Hedman, Britt; Hodgson, Keith O.

    2006-01-01

    The iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMoco) of the nitrogenase MoFe protein is a highly complex metallocluster that provides the catalytically essential site for biological nitrogen fixation. FeMoco is assembled outside the MoFe protein in a stepwise process requiring several components, including NifB-co, an iron- and sulfur-containing FeMoco precursor, and NifEN, an intermediary assembly protein on which NifB-co is presumably converted to FeMoco. Through the comparison of Azotobacter vinelandii strains expressing the NifEN protein in the presence or absence of the nifB gene, the structure of a NifEN-bound FeMoco precursor has been analyzed by x-ray absorption spectroscopy. The results provide physical evidence to support a mechanism for FeMoco biosynthesis. The NifEN-bound precursor is found to be a molybdenum-free analog of FeMoco and not one of the more commonly suggested cluster types based on a standard [4Fe–4S] architecture. A facile scheme by which FeMoco and alternative, non-molybdenum-containing nitrogenase cofactors are constructed from this common precursor is presented that has important implications for the biosynthesis and biomimetic chemical synthesis of FeMoco. PMID:16423898

  12. Tyrosine-Coordinated P-Cluster in G. diazotrophicus Nitrogenase: Evidence for the Importance of O-Based Ligands in Conformationally Gated Electron Transfer.

    PubMed

    Owens, Cedric P; Katz, Faith E H; Carter, Cole H; Oswald, Victoria F; Tezcan, F Akif

    2016-08-17

    The P-cluster is a unique iron-sulfur center that likely functions as a dynamic electron (e(-)) relay site between the Fe-protein and the catalytic FeMo-cofactor in nitrogenase. The P-cluster has been shown to undergo large conformational changes upon 2-e(-) oxidation which entail the coordination of two of the Fe centers to a Ser side chain and a backbone amide N, respectively. Yet, how and if this 2-e(-) oxidized state (P(OX)) is involved in catalysis by nitrogenase is not well established. Here, we present the crystal structures of reduced and oxidized MoFe-protein (MoFeP) from Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus (Gd), which natively possesses an Ala residue in the position of the Ser ligand to the P-cluster. While reduced Gd-MoFeP is structurally identical to previously characterized counterparts around the FeMo-cofactor, oxidized Gd-MoFeP features an unusual Tyr coordination to its P-cluster along with ligation by a backbone amide nitrogen. EPR analysis of the oxidized Gd-MoFeP P-cluster confirmed that it is a 2-e(-) oxidized, integer-spin species. Importantly, we have found that the sequence positions corresponding to the Ser and Tyr ligands are almost completely covariant among Group I nitrogenases. These findings strongly support the possibility that the P(OX) state is functionally relevant in nitrogenase catalysis and that a hard, O-based anionic ligand serves to stabilize this state in a switchable fashion. PMID:27487256

  13. ATP-independent substrate reduction by nitrogenase P-cluster variant

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi Chung; Hu, Yilin; Ribbe, Markus W.

    2012-01-01

    The P-cluster of nitrogenase is largely known for its function to mediate electron transfer to the active cofactor site during catalysis. Here, we show that a P-cluster variant (designated P*-cluster), which consists of paired [Fe4S4]-like clusters, can catalyze ATP-independent substrate reduction in the presence of a strong reductant, europium(II) diethylenetriaminepentaacetate [Eu(II)-DTPA]. The observation of a decrease of activity in the rank ΔnifH, ΔnifBΔnifZ, and ΔnifB MoFe protein, which corresponds to a decrease of the amount of P*-clusters in these cofactor-deficient proteins, firmly establishes P*-cluster as a catalytically active metal center in Eu(II)-DTPA–driven reactions. More excitingly, the fact that P*-cluster is not only capable of catalyzing the two-electron reduction of proton, acetylene, ethylene, and hydrazine, but also capable of reducing cyanide, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide to alkanes and alkenes, points to a possibility of developing biomimetic catalysts for hydrocarbon production under ambient conditions. PMID:22509042

  14. Ammonium inhibition of nitrogenase activity in Herbaspirillum seropedicae

    SciTech Connect

    Fu, H.; Burris, R.H. )

    1989-06-01

    The effect of oxygen, ammonium ion, and amino acids on nitrogenase activity in the root-associated N{sub 2}-fixing bacterium Herbaspirillum seropedicae was investigated in comparison with Azospirillum spp. and Rhodospirillum rubrum. H. seropedicae is microaerophilic, and its optimal dissolved oxygen level is from 0.04 to 0.2 kPa for dinitrogen fixation but higher when it is supplied with fixed nitrogen. No nitrogenase activity was detected when the dissolved O{sub 2} level corresponded to 4.0 kPa. Ammonium, a product of the nitrogenase reaction, reversible inhibited nitrogenase activity when added to derepressed cell cultures. However, the inhibition of nitrogenase activity was only partial even with concentrations of ammonium chloride as high as 20 mM. Amides such as glutamine and asparagine partially inhibited nitrogenase activity, but glutamate did not. Nitrogenase in crude extracts prepared from ammonium-inhibited cells showed activity as high as in extracts from N{sub 2}-fixing cells. The pattern of the dinitrogenase and the dinitrogenase reductase revealed by the immunoblotting technique did not change upon ammonium chloride treatment of cells in vivo. No homologous sequences were detected with the draT-draG probe from Azospirillum lipoferum. There is no clear evidence that ADP-ribosylation of the dinitrogenase reductase is involved in the ammonium inhibition of H. seropedicae. The uncoupler carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone decreased the intracellular ATP concentration and inhibited the nitrogenase activity of whole cells. The ATP pool was significantly disturbed when cultures were treated with ammonium in vivo.

  15. Autonomous Filling of Grain-Boundary Cavities during Creep Loading in Fe-Mo Alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, S.; Fang, H.; Gramsma, M. E.; Kwakernaak, C.; Sloof, W. G.; Tichelaar, F. D.; Kuzmina, M.; Herbig, M.; Raabe, D.; Brück, E.; van der Zwaag, S.; van Dijk, N. H.

    2016-07-01

    We have investigated the autonomous repair of creep damage by site-selective precipitation in a binary Fe-Mo alloy (6.2 wt pct Mo) during constant-stress creep tests at temperatures of 813 K, 823 K, and 838 K (540 °C, 550 °C, and 565 °C). Scanning electron microscopy studies on the morphology of the creep-failed samples reveal irregularly formed deposits that show a close spatial correlation with the creep cavities, indicating the filling of creep cavities at grain boundaries by precipitation of the Fe2Mo Laves phase. Complementary transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography have been used to characterize the precipitation mechanism and the segregation at grain boundaries in detail.

  16. Genetics Home Reference: molybdenum cofactor deficiency

    MedlinePlus

    ... molybdenum, is essential to the function of several enzymes. These enzymes help break down (metabolize) different substances in the ... molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis. Without the cofactor, the metabolic enzymes that rely on it cannot function. The resulting ...

  17. Why should we consider alternative nitrogenases in boreal ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellenger, Jean-Philippe

    2014-05-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) is the main source of new nitrogen (N) for the biosphere, accounting for up to 97% of N input in unmanaged terrestrial ecosystems. This reaction is catalysed by the enzyme nitrogenase (Nase). In N2 fixers associated with higher plants, only the molybdenum (Mo) dependent nitrogenase (Mo-Nase) has been identified. However, in many other N2 fixers two additional isoenzymes have been reported; the vanadium (V) dependent (V-Nase) and iron-only dependent nitrogenase (Fe-Nase). The role of these alternative nitrogenases (V-Nase and Fe-Nase) in natural habitats has been mostly overlooked, because they are found in communities that were not considered major contributors to N inputs. In recent years, N2 fixation associated with mosses and lichens has captured the interest of the scientific community for its importance toward global N input in high latitude ecosystems. Within this context, it is imperative to reconsider the role of alternative nitrogenases in these biomes. Here, I will present an overview of various findings, provided by different research groups, in the last two decade, suggesting that alternative nitrogenases could play an important role on N2 fixation in terrestrial ecosystems, especially in high latitude ones. I will discuss how these findings challenge the traditional view of Mo hegemony on N input in natural habitats and how it affects our conceptual models relating N2 fixation and trace metal dynamics in the environment. I will conclude by presenting my views on the importance to improve our understanding of the role of alternative nitrogenase in high latitude ecosystems; not only will this affect our fundamental understanding of N2 fixation and N cycling, it will also impact our ability to predict the response of these ecosystems to global climate change.

  18. Biosynthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor and the molybdenum cofactor in Klebsiella pneumoniae: effect of sulfur source

    SciTech Connect

    Ugalde, R.A.; Imperial, J.; Shah, V.K.; Brill, W.J.

    1985-12-01

    NifQ/sup -/ and Mol/sup -/ mutants of Klebsiella pneumoniae show an elevated molybdenum requirement for nitrogen fixation. Substitution of cystine for sulfate as the sulfur source in the medium reduced the molybdenum requirement of these mutants to levels required by the wild type. Cystine also increased the intracellular molybdenum accumulation of NifQ/sup -/ and Mol/sup -/ mutants. Cystine did not affect the molybdenum requirement or accumulation in wild-type K. pneumoniae. Sulfate transport and metabolism in K. pneumoniae were repressed by cystine. However, the effect of cystine on the molybdenum requirement could not be explained by an interaction between sulfate and molybdate at the transport level. The data show that cystine does not have a generalized effect on molybdenum metabolism. Millimolar concentrations of molybdate inhibited nitrogenase and nitrate reductase derepression with sulfate as the sulfur source, but not with cystine. The inhibition was the result of a specific antagonism of sulfate metabolism by molybdate. This study suggests that a sulfur donor and molybdenum interact at an early step in the biosynthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor. This interaction might occur nonenzymatically when the levels of the reactants are high.

  19. Characterization of Diazotrophs Containing Mo-Independent Nitrogenases, Isolated from Diverse Natural Environments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Molybdenum-independent nitrogenases were first described in the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Azotobacter vinelandii and have since been described in other diazotrophic bacteria. Previously, we reported the isolation of seven diazotrophs with Molybdenum-independent nitrogenases from aquatic environments...

  20. Nitrogen isotope fractionation by alternative nitrogenases and past ocean anoxia

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xinning; Sigman, Daniel M.; Morel, François M. M.; Kraepiel, Anne M. L.

    2014-01-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation constitutes the main input of fixed nitrogen to Earth’s ecosystems, and its isotope effect is a key parameter in isotope-based interpretations of the N cycle. The nitrogen isotopic composition (δ15N) of newly fixed N is currently believed to be ∼–1‰, based on measurements of organic matter from diazotrophs using molybdenum (Mo)-nitrogenases. We show that the vanadium (V)- and iron (Fe)-only “alternative” nitrogenases produce fixed N with significantly lower δ15N (–6 to –7‰). An important contribution of alternative nitrogenases to N2 fixation provides a simple explanation for the anomalously low δ15N (<–2‰) in sediments from the Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Events and the Archean Eon. A significant role for the alternative nitrogenases over Mo-nitrogenase is also consistent with evidence of Mo scarcity during these geologic periods, suggesting an additional dimension to the coupling between the global cycles of trace elements and nitrogen. PMID:24639508

  1. Hydrogen production in nitrogenase mutants in Anabaena variabilis.

    PubMed

    Weyman, Philip D; Pratte, Brenda; Thiel, Teresa

    2010-03-01

    Nitrogenase produces hydrogen as a normal byproduct of the reduction of dinitrogen to ammonia. The Nif2 nitrogenase in Anabaena variabilis is an alternative Mo-nitrogenase and is expressed in vegetative cells grown with fructose under strictly anaerobic conditions. We report here that the V75I substitution in the alpha-subunit of Nif2 showed greatly impaired acetylene reduction and reduced levels of (15)N(2) fixation but had similar hydrogen production rates as the wild-type enzyme under argon. Another mutant containing a substitution in the alpha-subunit, V76I, would result in a decrease in the size of the putative gas channel of nitrogenase and, thus, was hypothesized to affect substrate selectivity of nitrogenase. However, this substitution had no effect on the enzyme selectivity, suggesting that access by gases to the active site through this putative gas channel is not limited by the increased size of the amino acid side chain in the alpha-subunit, V76I substitution. PMID:20070369

  2. FEMO, A FLOW AND ENRICHMENT MONITOR FOR VERIFYING COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL SAFEGUARDS REQUIREMENTS AT A GAS CENTRIFUGE ENRICHMENT FACILITY

    SciTech Connect

    Gunning, John E; Laughter, Mark D; March-Leuba, Jose A

    2008-01-01

    A number of countries have received construction licenses or are contemplating the construction of large-capacity gas centrifuge enrichment plants (GCEPs). The capability to independently verify nuclear material flows is a key component of international safeguards approaches, and the IAEA does not currently have an approved method to continuously monitor the mass flow of 235U in uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas streams. Oak Ridge National Laboratory is investigating the development of a flow and enrichment monitor, or FEMO, based on an existing blend-down monitoring system (BDMS). The BDMS was designed to continuously monitor both 235U mass flow and enrichment of UF6 streams at the low pressures similar to those which exists at GCEPs. BDMSs have been installed at three sites-the first unit has operated successfully in an unattended environment for approximately 10 years. To be acceptable to GCEP operators, it is essential that the instrument be installed and maintained without interrupting operations. A means to continuously verify flow as is proposed by FEMO will likely be needed to monitor safeguards at large-capacity plants. This will enable the safeguards effectiveness that currently exists at smaller plants to be maintained at the larger facilities and also has the potential to reduce labor costs associated with inspections at current and future plants. This paper describes the FEMO design requirements, operating capabilities, and development work required before field demonstration.

  3. Mössbauer characterization of the metal clusters in Azotobacter vinelandii nitrogenase VFe protein.

    PubMed

    Ravi, N; Moore, V; Lloyd, S G; Hales, B J; Huynh, B H

    1994-08-19

    The VFe protein of alternative nitrogenase, isolated from Azotobacter vinelandii, strain LS15 and designated as Av1', has been investigated by Mössbauer spectroscopy. The Mössbauer spectrum of the dithionite-reduced Av1', recorded at 4.2 K with a 60-millitesla magnetic field applied parallel to the gamma-beam, is a superposition of three spectral components: 1) a complex spectrum (the M component) with magnetic hyperfine structures attributed to the paramagnetic FeV cofactor, 2) a component (the P component) consisting of three quadrupole doublets identifiable as the Fe2+, D, and S doublets similar to those observed for the P cluster pairs in MoFe proteins, and 3) a minor (4% of total absorption) quadrupole doublet attributable to adventitiously bound iron. The observed 4.2-K parameters for the Fe2+ (delta EQ = 2.99 mm/s and delta = 0.64 mm/s), D (delta EQ = 0.75 mm/s and delta = 0.63 mm/s), and S (delta EQ = 1.2 mm/s and delta = 0.65 mm/s) iron sites and their temperature dependence are very similar to those observed for the P cluster pairs in the conventional MoFe proteins. Similar to those of the MoFe protein, strong field spectra indicate that these doublets are associated with a diamagnetic system. Their percent absorption intensities (Fe(2+)/D/S = 13.0:32.2:6.8) determined at 4.2 K after the removal of the contributions from the adventitiously bound iron are comparable to those of the P cluster pairs in MoFe proteins. These observations established that Av1' also contains P cluster pairs that are identical, in both composition and quantity, to those of the MoFe proteins; i.e. each molecule contains two P cluster pairs and each pair is formed by two Fe2+, five D, and one S iron sites. Considering that 52% absorption of the P component corresponding to two 8Fe clusters, the remaining 48% absorption determined for the M component is consistent with two 7Fe-containing FeV cofactors/molecule of Av1'. The fact that both P cluster pairs are found in the

  4. Effect of Rice Plants on Nitrogenase Activity of Flooded Soils

    PubMed Central

    Habte, Mitiku; Alexander, Martin

    1980-01-01

    In samples of flooded soil containing blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), the presence of rice plants did not influence the nitrogenase activity of the algae. Nitrogenase activity of heterotrophic bacteria was enhanced by the presence of rice plants, but this activity was not affected by changes in plant density. The rate of nitrogen fixation in the rhizosphere, however, varied significantly among the 16 rice varieties tested. A simple method was devised to test the nitrogen-fixing activity in the root zone of rice varieties, and data were obtained showing marked differences in the activities of the 16 varieties. In tests of two varieties with dissimilar rates of nitrogen fixation in their rhizospheres, the variety which had the greater root weight and lesser shoot weight and which supported greater methane formation had the greater nitrogenase activity. PMID:16345630

  5. Effect of rice plants on nitrogenase activity of flooded soils.

    PubMed

    Habte, M; Alexander, M

    1980-09-01

    In samples of flooded soil containing blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), the presence of rice plants did not influence the nitrogenase activity of the algae. Nitrogenase activity of heterotrophic bacteria was enhanced by the presence of rice plants, but this activity was not affected by changes in plant density. The rate of nitrogen fixation in the rhizosphere, however, varied significantly among the 16 rice varieties tested. A simple method was devised to test the nitrogen-fixing activity in the root zone of rice varieties, and data were obtained showing marked differences in the activities of the 16 varieties. In tests of two varieties with dissimilar rates of nitrogen fixation in their rhizospheres, the variety which had the greater root weight and lesser shoot weight and which supported greater methane formation had the greater nitrogenase activity. PMID:16345630

  6. Isotope fractionation by alternative nitrogenases and past ocean anoxia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, X.; Sigman, D. M.; Kraepiel, A. M.

    2013-12-01

    The budget of fixed nitrogen (N) in the ocean, a key limiting nutrient for marine ecosystems, is dominated by N2 fixation as the input and denitrification as the output. The 15N/14N of marine N (quantified by δ15N) is believed to be set by two parameters: (1) the δ15N of newly fixed N and (2) the net isotopic fractionation associated with denitrification, which elevates the δ15N of marine N above that of newly fixed N. If so, the δ15N of oceanic fixed N cannot drop below the δ15N of the N produced by N2 fixation, currently believed to be -2 to 0‰. Yet significantly lower δ15N has been measured in sedimentary organic matter from the past, for example, the Archean Eon (-6‰) and mid-Cretaceous oceanic anoxic events (OAEs, -5‰). Here we show that the δ15N of newly fixed N can be as low as -7‰, depending on the type of nitrogenase that catalyzes N2 fixation. Vanadium (V)- or iron (Fe)- only based 'alternative' nitrogenases produce fixed N that is significantly lower in 15N than the more common Mo-based nitrogenase (-6‰ and -7‰ for V- and Fe-nitrogenase, respectively, versus -2‰ for Mo-nitrogenase), regardless of N2-fixer phylogeny or metabolism. Consistent with a Mo-poor Archean ocean and the preferential scavenging of seawater Mo compared to V and Fe into low oxygen/sulfidic OAE sediments, a N cycle in which alternative nitrogenases accounted for a large fraction of N2 fixation helps explain the low sedimentary δ15N from these periods. Our results imply that the role of alternative nitrogenases may have been important in low oxygen environments of the past, suggesting that they are also important in modern low oxygen settings. Elucidating the conditions under which alternative nitrogenases contribute to N2 fixation is necessary to understanding the evolution of the oceanic N budget through time.

  7. Photolysis of Hi-CO Nitrogenase – Observation of a Plethora of Distinct CO Species using Infrared Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Lifen; Dapper, Christie H.; George, Simon J.; Wang, Hongxin; Mitra, Devrani; Dong, Weibing; Newton, William E.; Cramer, Stephen P.

    2015-01-01

    Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) was used to study the photochemistry of CO-inhibited Azotobacter vinelandii nitrogenase using visible light at cryogenic temperatures. The FT-IR difference spectrum of photolyzed hi-CO at 4 K comprises negative bands at 1973 cm−1 and 1679 cm−1 together with positive bands at 1711 cm−1, 2135 and 2123 cm−1. The negative bands are assigned to a hi-CO state that comprises 2 metal-bound CO ligands, one terminally bound, and one bridged and/or protonated species. The positive band at 1711 cm−1 is assigned to a lo-CO product with a single bridged and/or protonated metal-CO group. We term these species ‘Hi-1’ and ‘Lo-1’ respectively. The high-energy bands are assigned to a liberated CO trapped in the protein pocket. Warming results in CO recombination, and the temperature dependence of the recombination rate yields an activation energy of 4 kJ mol−1. Two α-H195 variant enzymes yielded additional signals. Asparagine substitution, α-H195N, gives a spectrum containing 2 negative ‘Hi-2’ bands at 1936 and 1858 cm−1 with a positive ‘Lo-2’ band at 1780 cm−1, while glutamine substitution, α-H195Q, produces a complex spectrum that includes a third CO species, with negative ‘Hi-3’ bands at 1938 and 1911 cm−1 and a positive feature ‘Lo-3’ band at 1921 cm−1. These species can be assigned to a combination of terminal, bridged, and possibly protonated CO groups bound to the FeMo-cofactor active site. The proposed structures are discussed in terms of both CO inhibition and the mechanism nitrogenase catalysis. Given the intractability of observing nitrogenase intermediates by crystallographic methods, IR-monitored photolysis appears to be a promising and information-rich probe of nitrogenase structure and chemistry.

  8. Microstructure and corrosion resistance of Fe/Mo composite amorphous coatings prepared by air plasma spraying

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Chao-ping; Xing, Ya-zhe; Zhang, Feng-ying; Hao, Jian-min

    2012-07-01

    Fe/Mo composite coatings were prepared by air plasma spraying (APS) using Fe-based and Mo-based amorphous and nanocrystalline mixed powders. Microstructural studies show that the composite coatings present a layered structure with low porosity due to adding the self-bonded Mo-based alloy. Corrosion behaviors of the composite coatings, the Fe-based coatings and the Mo-based coatings were investigated by electrochemical measurements and salt spray tests. Electrochemical results show that the composite coatings exhibit a lower polarization current density and higher corrosion potentials than the Fe-based coating when tested in 3.5wt% NaCl solutions, indicating superior corrosion resistance compared with the Fe-based coating. Also with the increase in addition of the Mo-based alloy, a raised corrosion resistance, inferred by an increase in corrosion potential and a decrease in polarization current density, can be found. The results of salt spray tests again show that the corrosion resistance is enhanced by adding the Mo-based alloy, which helps to reduce the porosity of the composite coatings and enhance the stability of the passive films.

  9. Cofactor engineering for advancing chemical biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yipeng; San, Ka-Yiu; Bennett, George N

    2013-12-01

    Cofactors provide redox carriers for biosynthetic reactions, catabolic reactions and act as important agents in transfer of energy for the cell. Recent advances in manipulating cofactors include culture conditions or additive alterations, genetic modification of host pathways for increased availability of desired cofactor, changes in enzyme cofactor specificity, and introduction of novel redox partners to form effective circuits for biochemical processes and biocatalysts. Genetic strategies to employ ferredoxin, NADH and NADPH most effectively in natural or novel pathways have improved yield and efficiency of large-scale processes for fuels and chemicals and have been demonstrated with a variety of microbial organisms. PMID:23611567

  10. Nitrogenase FeMoco investigated by spatially resolved anomalous dispersion refinement

    PubMed Central

    Spatzal, Thomas; Schlesier, Julia; Burger, Eva-Maria; Sippel, Daniel; Zhang, Limei; Andrade, Susana L.A.; Rees, Douglas C.; Einsle, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    The [Mo:7Fe:9S:C] iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMoco) of nitrogenase is the largest known metal cluster and catalyses the 6-electron reduction of dinitrogen to ammonium in biological nitrogen fixation. Only recently its atomic structure was clarified, while its reactivity and electronic structure remain under debate. Here we show that for its resting S=3/2 state the common iron oxidation state assignments must be reconsidered. By a spatially resolved refinement of the anomalous scattering contributions of the 7 Fe atoms of FeMoco, we conclude that three irons (Fe1/3/7) are more reduced than the other four (Fe2/4/5/6). Our data are in agreement with the recently revised oxidation state assignment for the molybdenum ion, providing the first spatially resolved picture of the resting-state electron distribution within FeMoco. This might provide the long-sought experimental basis for a generally accepted theoretical description of the cluster that is in line with available spectroscopic and functional data. PMID:26973151

  11. Presence of a Vanadium Nitrogenase in Azotobacter paspali.

    PubMed

    Fallik, E; Hartel, P G; Robson, R L

    1993-06-01

    There have been no previous studies on the genetics of Azotobacter paspali, an aerobic bacterium which forms a highly specific diazotrophic association with Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum). We constructed A. paspali strains defective in the molybdenum nitrogenase so that alternative N(2)ases could be studied. The cosmid vector pTBE and genomic DNA fragments ( approximately 50 kb) of A. paspali ATCC 23367 were used to construct a gene library in Escherichia coli. Recombinant cosmids containing sequences homologous to molybdenum nitrogenase nifDK structural genes were identified by hybridization. A 2.9-kb fragment bearing the putative nifDK genes of A. paspali was subcloned and mutagenized in vitro by the insertion of a kanamycin resistance gene cassette. The mutation was recombined into the chromosome of A. paspali with the suicide vector pCU101. One resultant mutant strain, AP2, was incapable of diazotrophic growth in a molybdenum-containing medium (Nif) without vanadium but grew well in a molybdenum-deficient medium with vanadium. The nitrogenase system in AP2 reduced acetylene to ethylene and produced ethane as 2.4% of the total products. Molybdenum levels as low as 10 nM prevented the diazotrophic growth of AP2, even in the presence of vanadium at levels up to 10 muM. These results are consistent with the existence of a vanadium nitrogenase system in A. paspali. PMID:16348965

  12. What Is the True Nitrogenase Reaction? A Guided Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ipata, Piero L.; Pesi, Rossana

    2015-01-01

    Only diazotrophic bacteria, called "Rizhobia," living as symbionts in the root nodules of leguminous plants and certain free-living prokaryotic cells can fix atmospheric N[subscript 2]. In these microorganisms, nitrogen fixation is carried out by the nitrogenase protein complex. However, the reduction of nitrogen to ammonia has an…

  13. Molybdenum cofactor and human disease.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Guenter

    2016-04-01

    Four molybdenum-dependent enzymes are known in humans, each harboring a pterin-based molybdenum cofactor (Moco) in the active site. They catalyze redox reactions using water as oxygen acceptor or donator. Moco is synthesized by a conserved biosynthetic pathway. Moco deficiency results in a severe inborn error of metabolism causing often early childhood death. Disease-causing symptoms mainly go back to the lack of sulfite oxidase (SO) activity, an enzyme in cysteine catabolism. Besides their name-giving functions, Mo-enzymes have been recognized to catalyze novel reactions, including the reduction of nitrite to nitric oxide. In this review we cover the biosynthesis of Moco, key features of Moco-enzymes and focus on their deficiency. Underlying disease mechanisms as well as treatment options will be discussed. PMID:27055119

  14. The role of FeS clusters for molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis and molybdoenzymes in bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Yokoyama, Kenichi; Leimkühler, Silke

    2016-01-01

    Molybdenum is the only second row transition metal essential for biological systems, which is biologically available as molybdate ion. In eukarya, bacteria and archaea, molybdenum is bound to either to a tricyclic pyranopterin, thereby forming the molybdenum cofactor (Moco), or in some bacteria to the FeS cluster based iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMoco), which forms the active site of nitrogenase. To date more than 50 Moco-containing enzymes have been purified and biochemically or structurally characterized. The physiological role of molybdenum in these enzymes is fundamental to organisms, since the reactions include the catalysis of key steps in carbon, nitrogen and sulfur metabolism. The catalyzed reactions are in most cases oxo-transfer reactions or the hydroxylation of carbon centers. The biosynthesis of Moco has been intensively studied, in addition to its insertion into molybdoenzymes. In particular, a link between the biosynthesis and maturation of molybdoenzymes and the biosynthesis and distribution of FeS clusters has been identified in the last years: 1) The synthesis of the first intermediate in Moco biosynthesis requires an FeS-cluster containing protein, 2) The sulfurtransferase for the dithiolene group in Moco is common also for the synthesis of FeS clusters, thiamin and thiolated tRNAs, 3) the modification of the active site with a sulfur atom additionally involves a sulfurtransferase, 4) most molybdoenzymes in bacteria require FeS clusters as additional redox active cofactors. In this review we will focus on the biosynthesis of the molybdenum cofactor in bacteria, its modification and insertion into molybdoenzymes, with an emphasis to its link to FeS cluster biosynthesis and sulfur transfer. PMID:25268953

  15. The Inflammatory Response to Femoral Arterial Closure Devices: A Randomized Comparison Among FemoStop, AngioSeal, and Perclose

    SciTech Connect

    Jensen, Jens Saleh, Nawzad; Jensen, Ulf; Svane, Bertil; Joensson, Anders; Tornvall, Per

    2008-07-15

    The objectives of this study were to investigate whether the systemic inflammatory response differs, in patients undergoing coronary angiography, among the arterial closure devices FemoStop, AngioSeal, and Perclose. The study is a prospective and randomized study. We measured pre- and postprocedural C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, and interleukin-6 (IL-6) plasma levels and collected clinical and procedural data on 77 patients who underwent coronary angiography because of stable angina pectoris. Patients were randomized to the following device: FemoStop (mechanical compression), AngioSeal (anchor and collagen sponge), or Perclose (nonabsorbable suture). No patient group experienced an increased incidence of vascular complications. There were no differences among the three groups regarding CRP, fibrinogen, or IL-6 values before or after coronary angiography. IL-6 levels increased 6 h after the procedure in all groups (p < 0.01), however, the increase did not differ among the groups. After 30 days there were no increased values of CRP or fibrinogen. We conclude that the femoral arterial closure devices AngioSeal and Perclose do not enhance an inflammatory response after a diagnostic coronary angiography, measured by CRP, fibrinogen, and IL-6, compared to femoral arterial closure using a mechanical compression device.

  16. Ab initio study of energetics and magnetism of sigma phase in Co-Mo and Fe-Mo systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlů, J.; Vřešťál, J.; Šob, M.

    2016-02-01

    We analyse, from first-principles, the energetics and magnetic ordering of sigma phases in Co-Mo and Fe-Mo systems. Total energy differences between the sigma phase and Standard Element Reference (SER) structures are calculated in the whole concentration range at equilibrium volumes by means of the linear muffin-tin orbitals method in the atomic-sphere approximation (LMTO-ASA), the full-potential linearised augmented-plane waves (FLAPW) method and the pseudopotential approach. They are compared with the enthalpy of formation of sigma phase obtained from the phase equilibria calculations at higher temperature based on the semiempirical CALPHAD (CALculation of PHAse Diagram) method. It turns out that the binary sigma phases are more stable than the weighted average of the sigma phase of elemental constituents and that this stability for Fe-Mo is higher than for Co-Mo. On the other hand it was found that the binary sigma phases do not exhibit any stability with respect to the weighted average of the SER structures. The magnetic configurations in all systems are investigated and the stabilizing effect of magnetic order in sigma phase at 0 K is presented. It turns out that the atomic magnetic moment strongly depends on the type of occupied sublattice and total composition of the alloy.

  17. In Vivo Kinetics of Nitrogenase Formation in Clostridium pasteurianum

    PubMed Central

    Seto, Belinda; Mortenson, L. E.

    1974-01-01

    Clostridium pasteurianum exhibits diauxic growth when grown in the presence of both NH3 and N2; no nitrogenase activity or formation was detected either serologically or by activity during growth on NH3. During the 60-min lag that ensued after NH3 was consumed and before growth resumed, molybdoferredoxin and azoferredoxin were first detected by activity measurements and serologically at 25 and 40 min, respectively. With the use of rifampin and dactinomycin, it was found that azoferredoxin messenger ribonucleic acid was initiated between 25 and 30 min after the inception of the lag and was completed by 38 min. An explanation of these results and their relation to possible models for the regulation of nitrogenase is given. Images PMID:4218235

  18. RNA processing of nitrogenase transcripts in the cyanobacterium Anabaena variabilis.

    PubMed

    Ungerer, Justin L; Pratte, Brenda S; Thiel, Teresa

    2010-07-01

    Little is known about the regulation of nitrogenase genes in cyanobacteria. Transcription of the nifH1 and vnfH genes, encoding dinitrogenase reductases for the heterocyst-specific Mo-nitrogenase and the alternative V-nitrogenase, respectively, was studied by using a lacZ reporter. Despite evidence for a transcription start site just upstream of nifH1 and vnfH, promoter fragments that included these start sites did not drive the transcription of lacZ and, for nifH1, did not drive the expression of nifHDK1. Further analysis using larger regions upstream of nifH1 indicated that a promoter within nifU1 and a promoter upstream of nifB1 both contributed to expression of nifHDK1, with the nifB1 promoter contributing to most of the expression. Similarly, while the region upstream of vnfH, containing the putative transcription start site, did not drive expression of lacZ, the region that included the promoter for the upstream gene, ava4055, did. Characterization of the previously reported nifH1 and vnfH transcriptional start sites by 5'RACE (5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends) revealed that these 5' ends resulted from processing of larger transcripts rather than by de novo transcription initiation. The 5' positions of both the vnfH and nifH1 transcripts lie at the base of a stem-loop structure that may serve to stabilize the nifHDK1 and vnfH specific transcripts compared to the transcripts for other genes in the operons providing the proper stoichiometry for the Nif proteins for nitrogenase synthesis. PMID:20435734

  19. Physiology of ex planta nitrogenase activity in Rhizobium japonicum

    SciTech Connect

    Agarwal, A.K.; Keister, D.L.

    1983-05-01

    Thirty-nine wild-type strains of Rhizobium japonicum have been studied for their ability to synthesize nitrogenase ex planta in defined liquid media under microaerobic conditions. Twenty-one produced more than trace amounts of acetylene reduction activity, but only a few of these yielded high activity. The oxygen response curves were similar for most of the nitrogenase-positive strains. The strains derepressible for activity had several phenotypic characteristics different from non-derepressible strains. These included slower growth and lower oxygen consumption under microaerobic conditions and lower extracellular polysaccharide production. Extracellular polysaccharide production during growth on gluconate in every nitrogenase-positive strain assayed was lower under both aerobic and microaerobic conditions than the non-depressible strains. These phenotypic characteristics may be representative of a genotype of a subspecies of R. japonicum. These studies were done in part to enlarge the base number of strains available for studies on the physiology, biochemistry, and genetics of nitrogen fixation. (35 Refs.)

  20. Properties of a reaction-bonded β-SiAlON ceramic doped with an FeMo alloy for application to molten aluminum environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yan-jun; Yu, Hai-liang; Jin, Hai-yun; Shi, Zhong-qi; Qiao, Guan-jun; Jin, Zhi-hao

    2015-05-01

    An FeMo-alloy-doped β-SiAlON (FeMo/β-SiAlON) composite was fabricated via a reaction-bonding method using raw materials of Si, Al2O3, AlN, FeMo, and Sm2O3. The effects of FeMo on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the composite were investigated. Some properties of the composite, including its bending strength at 700°C and after oxidization at 700°C for 24 h in air, thermal shock resistance and corrosion resistance to molten aluminum, were also evaluated. The results show that the density, toughness, bending strength, and thermal shock resistance of the composite are obviously improved with the addition of an FeMo alloy. In addition, other properties of the composite such as its high-temperature strength and oxidized strength are also improved by the addition of FeMo alloy, and its corrosion resistance to molten aluminum is maintained. These findings indicate that the developed FeMo/β-SiAlON composite exhibits strong potential for application to molten aluminum environments.

  1. Co-factor activated recombinant adenovirus proteinases

    DOEpatents

    Anderson, Carl W.; Mangel, Walter F.

    1996-08-06

    This application describes methods and expression constructs for producing activatable recombinant adenovirus proteinases. Purified activatable recombinant adenovirus proteinases and methods of purification are described. Activated adenovirus proteinases and methods for obtaining activated adenovirus proteinases are further included. Isolated peptide cofactors of adenovirus proteinase activity, methods of purifying and identifying said peptide cofactors are also described. Antibodies immunoreactive with adenovirus proteinases, immunospecific antibodies, and methods for preparing them are also described. Other related methods and materials are also described.

  2. Co-factor activated recombinant adenovirus proteinases

    DOEpatents

    Anderson, C.W.; Mangel, W.F.

    1996-08-06

    This application describes methods and expression constructs for producing activatable recombinant adenovirus proteinases. Purified activatable recombinant adenovirus proteinases and methods of purification are described. Activated adenovirus proteinases and methods for obtaining activated adenovirus proteinases are further included. Isolated peptide cofactors of adenovirus proteinase activity, methods of purifying and identifying the peptide cofactors are also described. Antibodies immunoreactive with adenovirus proteinases, immunospecific antibodies, and methods for preparing them are also described. Other related methods and materials are also described. 29 figs.

  3. IR-Monitored Photolysis of CO-Inhibited Nitrogenase: A Major EPR-Silent Species with Coupled Terminal CO Ligands

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Lifen; Dapper, Christie H.; Scott, Aubrey D.; Newton, William E.

    2015-01-01

    We have used Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) to observe the photolysis and recombination of a novel EPR-silent CO-inhibited form of α-H195Q nitrogenase from Azotobacter vinelandii. Photolysis at 4 K yields a strong negative IR difference band at 1938 cm−1, along with a weaker negative feature at 1911 cm−1. These bands and the associated chemical species have both been assigned the label ‘Hi-3’. A positive band at 1921 cm−1 is assigned to the ‘Lo-3’ photoproduct. By using an isotopic mixture of 12C16O and 13C18O, we show that the Hi-3 bands arise from coupling of two similar CO oscillators with one uncoupled frequency at ~1917 cm−1. Although in previous studies Lo-3 was not observed to recombine, by extending the observation range to 200–240 K we found that recombination to Hi-3 does indeed occur, with an activation energy of ~6.5 kJ mol−1. The frequencies of the Hi-3 bands suggest terminal CO ligation. We tested this hypothesis with DFT calculations on models with terminal CO ligands on Fe2 and Fe6 of the FeMo-cofactor. An S = 0 model with both CO ligands in exo positions predicts symmetric and asymmetric stretches at 1938 and 1909 cm−1 respectively, with relative band intensities of ~3.5:1, in good agreement with experiment. From the observed IR intensities, we find that Hi-3 is present at a concentration about equal to that of the EPR-active Hi-1 species. The relevance of Hi-3 to the nitrogenase catalytic mechanism and its recently discovered Fischer-Tropsch chemistry is discussed. PMID:23136072

  4. Analysis of genes encoding an alternative nitrogenase in the archaeon Methanosarcina barkeri 227.

    PubMed

    Chien, Y T; Auerbuch, V; Brabban, A D; Zinder, S H

    2000-06-01

    Methanosarcina barkeri 227 possesses two clusters of genes potentially encoding nitrogenases. We have previously demonstrated that one cluster, called nif2, is expressed under molybdenum (Mo)-sufficient conditions, and the deduced amino acid sequences for nitrogenase structural genes in that cluster most closely resemble those for the Mo nitrogenase of the gram-positive eubacterium Clostridium pasteurianum. The previously cloned nifH1 from M. barkeri shows phylogenetic relationships with genes encoding components of eubacterial Mo-independent eubacterial alternative nitrogenases and other methanogen nitrogenases. In this study, we cloned and sequenced nifD1 and part of nifK1 from M. barkeri 227. The deduced amino acid sequence encoded by nifD1 from M. barkeri showed great similarity with vnfD gene products from vanadium (V) nitrogenases, with an 80% identity at the amino acid level with the vnfD gene product from Anabaena variabilis. Moreover, there was a small open reading frame located between nifD1 and nifK1 with clear homology to vnfG, a hallmark of eubacterial alternative nitrogenases. Stimulation of diazotrophic growth of M. barkeri 227 by V in the absence of Mo was demonstrated. The unusual complement of nif genes in M. barkeri 227, with one cluster resembling that from a gram-positive eubacterium and the other resembling a eubacterial V nitrogenase gene cluster, suggests horizontal genetic transfer of those genes. PMID:10809706

  5. Influence of External Nitrogen on Nitrogenase Enzyme Activity and Auxin Production in Herbaspirillum seropedicae (Z78)

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Tan Tzy; Pin, Ui Li; Ghazali, Amir Hamzah Ahmad

    2015-01-01

    The production of nitrogenase enzyme and auxins by free living diazotrophs has the potential to influence the growth of host plants. In this study, diazotrophs were grown in the presence of various concentrations of nitogen (N) to determine the optimal concentration of N for microbial growth stimulation, promotion of gaseous N (N2) fixation, and phytohormone production. Therefore, we investigate whether different levels of N supplied to Herbaspirillum seropedicae (Z78) have significant effects on nitrogenase activity and auxin production. The highest nitrogenase activity and the lowest auxin production of H. seropedicae (Z78) were both recorded at 0 gL−1 of NH4Cl. Higher levels of external N caused a significant decrease in the nitrogenase activity and an increased production of auxins. In a subsequent test, two different inoculum sizes of Z78 (106 and 1012 cfu/ml) were used to study the effect of different percentages of acetylene on nitrogenase activity of the inoculum via the acetylene reduction assay (ARA). The results showed that the optimal amount of acetylene required for nitrogenase enzyme activity was 5% for the 106 cfu/ml inoculum, whereas the higher inoculum size (1012 cfu/ml) required at least 10% of acetylene for optimal nitrogenase activity. These findings provide a clearer understanding of the effects of N levels on diazotrophic nitrogenase activity and auxin production, which are important factors influencing plant growth. PMID:26868594

  6. Nitrogenase activity in cell-free extracts of the blue-green alga, Anabaena cylindrica.

    PubMed

    Smith, R V; Evans, M C

    1971-03-01

    Cell-free extracts with high nitrogenase activity were prepared by sonic oscillation and French press treatment from the blue-gree alga Anabaena cylindrica. Extracts were prepared from cells grown on a 95% N(2)-5% CO(2) gas mixture followed by a period of nitrogen starvation under an atmosphere of 95% argon-5% CO(2). No increase in the specific activity of extracts was achieved by breaking heterocysts. Activity (assayed by acetylene reduction) was found to be dependent on adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an ATP-generating system, and a low-potential reductant. Na(2)S(2)O(2) employed as reductant supports higher rates of nitrogenase activity than reduced ferredoxin. The activity is associated with a small-particle fraction that can be sedimented by ultracentrifugation. In contrast to the particulate nitrogenase of Azotobacter, which is stable in air, the A. cylindrica nitrogenase is an oxygen sensitive as nitrogenase prepared from anaerobic bacteria. PMID:4994040

  7. Cofactor modification analysis: a computational framework to identify cofactor specificity engineering targets for strain improvement.

    PubMed

    Lakshmanan, Meiyappan; Chung, Bevan Kai-Sheng; Liu, Chengcheng; Kim, Seon-Won; Lee, Dong-Yup

    2013-12-01

    Cofactors, such as NAD(H) and NADP(H), play important roles in energy transfer within the cells by providing the necessary redox carriers for a myriad of metabolic reactions, both anabolic and catabolic. Thus, it is crucial to establish the overall cellular redox balance for achieving the desired cellular physiology. Of several methods to manipulate the intracellular cofactor regeneration rates, altering the cofactor specificity of a particular enzyme is a promising one. However, the identification of relevant enzyme targets for such cofactor specificity engineering (CSE) is often very difficult and labor intensive. Therefore, it is necessary to develop more systematic approaches to find the cofactor engineering targets for strain improvement. Presented herein is a novel mathematical framework, cofactor modification analysis (CMA), developed based on the well-established constraints-based flux analysis, for the systematic identification of suitable CSE targets while exploring the global metabolic effects. The CMA algorithm was applied to E. coli using its genome-scale metabolic model, iJO1366, thereby identifying the growth-coupled cofactor engineering targets for overproducing four of its native products: acetate, formate, ethanol, and lactate, and three non-native products: 1-butanol, 1,4-butanediol, and 1,3-propanediol. Notably, among several target candidates for cofactor engineering, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPD) is the most promising enzyme; its cofactor modification enhanced both the desired product and biomass yields significantly. Finally, given the identified target, we further discussed potential mutational strategies for modifying cofactor specificity of GAPD in E. coli as suggested by in silico protein docking experiments. PMID:24372035

  8. Frankia vesicles provide inducible and absolute oxygen protection for nitrogenase

    SciTech Connect

    Parsons, R.; Silvester, W.B.; Harris, S. ); Gruijters, W.T.M.; Bullivant, S. )

    1987-01-01

    When Frankia HFPCcI3 was grown in culture at oxygen O{sub 2} levels ranging from 2 to 70 kilopascals O{sub 2}, under nitrogen fixing conditions, nitrogenase activity adapted to ambient pO{sub 2} and showed a marked optimum close to growth pO{sub 2}. Vesicles were thin walled at low pO{sub 2} and very thick walled at high pO{sub 2}. Freeze fracture transmission electron microscopy confirmed that Frankia produces vesicles with outer walls thickened by multiple lipid-like monolayers, in proportion to ambient pO{sub 2}.

  9. Enzymatic regeneration of adenosine triphosphate cofactor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshall, D. L.

    1974-01-01

    Regenerating adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from adenosine diphosphate (ADP) by enzymatic process which utilizes carbamyl phosphate as phosphoryl donor is technique used to regenerate expensive cofactors. Process allows complex enzymatic reactions to be considered as candidates for large-scale continuous processes.

  10. Cofactor binding protects flavodoxin against oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Lindhoud, Simon; van den Berg, Willy A M; van den Heuvel, Robert H H; Heck, Albert J R; van Mierlo, Carlo P M; van Berkel, Willem J H

    2012-01-01

    In organisms, various protective mechanisms against oxidative damaging of proteins exist. Here, we show that cofactor binding is among these mechanisms, because flavin mononucleotide (FMN) protects Azotobacter vinelandii flavodoxin against hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidation. We identify an oxidation sensitive cysteine residue in a functionally important loop close to the cofactor, i.e., Cys69. Oxidative stress causes dimerization of apoflavodoxin (i.e., flavodoxin without cofactor), and leads to consecutive formation of sulfinate and sulfonate states of Cys69. Use of 7-chloro-4-nitrobenzo-2-oxa-1,3-diazole (NBD-Cl) reveals that Cys69 modification to a sulfenic acid is a transient intermediate during oxidation. Dithiothreitol converts sulfenic acid and disulfide into thiols, whereas the sulfinate and sulfonate forms of Cys69 are irreversible with respect to this reagent. A variable fraction of Cys69 in freshly isolated flavodoxin is in the sulfenic acid state, but neither oxidation to sulfinic and sulfonic acid nor formation of intermolecular disulfides is observed under oxidising conditions. Furthermore, flavodoxin does not react appreciably with NBD-Cl. Besides its primary role as redox-active moiety, binding of flavin leads to considerably improved stability against protein unfolding and to strong protection against irreversible oxidation and other covalent thiol modifications. Thus, cofactors can protect proteins against oxidation and modification. PMID:22829943

  11. Substrate Pathways in the Nitrogenase MoFe Protein by Experimental Identification of Small Molecule Binding Sites

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    In the nitrogenase molybdenum-iron (MoFe) protein, we have identified five potential substrate access pathways from the protein surface to the FeMo-cofactor (the active site) or the P-cluster using experimental structures of Xe pressurized into MoFe protein crystals from Azotobacter vinelandii and Clostridium pasteurianum. Additionally, all published structures of the MoFe protein, including those from Klebsiella pneumoniae, were analyzed for the presence of nonwater, small molecules bound to the protein interior. Each pathway is based on identification of plausible routes from buried small molecule binding sites to both the protein surface and a metallocluster. Of these five pathways, two have been previously suggested as substrate access pathways. While the small molecule binding sites are not conserved among the three species of MoFe protein, residues lining the pathways are generally conserved, indicating that the proposed pathways may be accessible in all three species. These observations imply that there is unlikely a unique pathway utilized for substrate access from the protein surface to the active site; however, there may be preferred pathways such as those described here. PMID:25710326

  12. A Conformational Switch Triggers Nitrogenase Protection from Oxygen Damage by Shethna Protein II (FeSII).

    PubMed

    Schlesier, Julia; Rohde, Michael; Gerhardt, Stefan; Einsle, Oliver

    2016-01-13

    The two-component metalloprotein nitrogenase catalyzes the reductive fixation of atmospheric dinitrogen into bioavailable ammonium in diazotrophic prokaryotes. The process requires an efficient energy metabolism, so that although the metal clusters of nitrogenase rapidly decompose in the presence of dioxygen, many free-living diazotrophs are obligate aerobes. In order to retain the functionality of the nitrogen-fixing enzyme, some of these are able to rapidly "switch-off" nitrogenase, by shifting the enzyme into an inactive but oxygen-tolerant state. Under these conditions the two components of nitrogenase form a stable, ternary complex with a small [2Fe:2S] ferredoxin termed FeSII or the "Shethna protein II". Here we have produced and isolated Azotobacter vinelandii FeS II and have determined its three-dimensional structure to 2.1 Å resolution by X-ray diffraction. In the crystals, the dimeric protein was present in two distinct states that differ in the conformation of an extended loop in close proximity to the iron-sulfur cluster. We show that this rearrangement is redox-dependent and forms the molecular basis for oxygen-dependent conformational protection of nitrogenase. Protection assays highlight that FeSII binds to a preformed complex of MoFe and Fe protein upon activation, primarily through electrostatic interactions. The surface properties and known complexes of nitrogenase component proteins allow us to propose a model of the conformationally protected ternary complex of nitrogenase. PMID:26654855

  13. Regulation of Three Nitrogenase Gene Clusters in the Cyanobacterium Anabaena variabilis ATCC 29413

    PubMed Central

    Thiel, Teresa; Pratte, Brenda S.

    2014-01-01

    The filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena variabilis ATCC 29413 fixes nitrogen under aerobic conditions in specialized cells called heterocysts that form in response to an environmental deficiency in combined nitrogen. Nitrogen fixation is mediated by the enzyme nitrogenase, which is very sensitive to oxygen. Heterocysts are microxic cells that allow nitrogenase to function in a filament comprised primarily of vegetative cells that produce oxygen by photosynthesis. A. variabilis is unique among well-characterized cyanobacteria in that it has three nitrogenase gene clusters that encode different nitrogenases, which function under different environmental conditions. The nif1 genes encode a Mo-nitrogenase that functions only in heterocysts, even in filaments grown anaerobically. The nif2 genes encode a different Mo-nitrogenase that functions in vegetative cells, but only in filaments grown under anoxic conditions. An alternative V-nitrogenase is encoded by vnf genes that are expressed only in heterocysts in an environment that is deficient in Mo. Thus, these three nitrogenases are expressed differentially in response to environmental conditions. The entire nif1 gene cluster, comprising at least 15 genes, is primarily under the control of the promoter for the first gene, nifB1. Transcriptional control of many of the downstream nif1 genes occurs by a combination of weak promoters within the coding regions of some downstream genes and by RNA processing, which is associated with increased transcript stability. The vnf genes show a similar pattern of transcriptional and post-transcriptional control of expression suggesting that the complex pattern of regulation of the nif1 cluster is conserved in other cyanobacterial nitrogenase gene clusters. PMID:25513762

  14. Regulation of Three Nitrogenase Gene Clusters in the Cyanobacterium Anabaena variabilis ATCC 29413.

    PubMed

    Thiel, Teresa; Pratte, Brenda S

    2014-01-01

    The filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena variabilis ATCC 29413 fixes nitrogen under aerobic conditions in specialized cells called heterocysts that form in response to an environmental deficiency in combined nitrogen. Nitrogen fixation is mediated by the enzyme nitrogenase, which is very sensitive to oxygen. Heterocysts are microxic cells that allow nitrogenase to function in a filament comprised primarily of vegetative cells that produce oxygen by photosynthesis. A. variabilis is unique among well-characterized cyanobacteria in that it has three nitrogenase gene clusters that encode different nitrogenases, which function under different environmental conditions. The nif1 genes encode a Mo-nitrogenase that functions only in heterocysts, even in filaments grown anaerobically. The nif2 genes encode a different Mo-nitrogenase that functions in vegetative cells, but only in filaments grown under anoxic conditions. An alternative V-nitrogenase is encoded by vnf genes that are expressed only in heterocysts in an environment that is deficient in Mo. Thus, these three nitrogenases are expressed differentially in response to environmental conditions. The entire nif1 gene cluster, comprising at least 15 genes, is primarily under the control of the promoter for the first gene, nifB1. Transcriptional control of many of the downstream nif1 genes occurs by a combination of weak promoters within the coding regions of some downstream genes and by RNA processing, which is associated with increased transcript stability. The vnf genes show a similar pattern of transcriptional and post-transcriptional control of expression suggesting that the complex pattern of regulation of the nif1 cluster is conserved in other cyanobacterial nitrogenase gene clusters. PMID:25513762

  15. Electron Paramagnetic Resonance of Nitrogenase and Nitrogenase Components from Clostridium pasteurianum W5 and Azotobacter vinelandii OP

    PubMed Central

    Orme-Johnson, W. H.; Hamilton, W. D.; Jones, T. L.; Tso, M.-Y. W.; Burris, R. H.; Shah, V. K.; Brill, W. J.

    1972-01-01

    The electron paramagnetic resonance of nitrogenase components, separately and together with the other reactants in the nitrogenase system (namely, reductant and Mg·ATP), have been examined at low temperatures (<20°K). The MoFe protein, component I or molybdoferredoxin, in the oxidized (but not oxygen-inactivated) state yields signals with g-values of 4.3, 3.7, and 2.01, and when reduced has no observable electron paramagnetic resonance. The Fe protein, component II, or azoferredoxin, yields a signal with g-values of 2.05, 1.94, and 1.89 in the reduced state that is converted by Mg·ATP into an axial signal with g-values near 2.05 and 1.94, and a second split signal near g = 4.3. The Fe protein has no definite electron paramagnetic resonance in the oxidized (not oxygen-denatured) state under these conditions. The Mg·ATP complex of reduced Fe protein reduces the MoFe protein, whereas dithionite alone does not reduce the MoFe protein. Reoxidation of the system by substrate leads to disappearance of the Fe protein signal and the reappearance of the MoFe protein signal. Thus Mg·ATP, which is hydrolyzed during substrate reduction, converts the Fe protein to a reductant capable of transferring electrons to MoFe protein, after which substrate reduction occurs. PMID:4343957

  16. A survey of synthetic nicotinamide cofactors in enzymatic processes.

    PubMed

    Paul, Caroline E; Hollmann, Frank

    2016-06-01

    Synthetic nicotinamide cofactors are analogues of the natural cofactors used by oxidoreductases as redox intermediates. Their ability to be fine-tuned makes these biomimetics an attractive alternative to the natural cofactors in terms of stability, reactivity, and cost. The following mini-review focuses on the current state of the art of those biomimetics in enzymatic processes. PMID:27094184

  17. Soil surface disturbances in cold deserts: Effects on nitrogenase activity in cyanobacterial-lichen soil crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne

    1996-01-01

    CyanobacteriaMichen soil crusts can be a dominant source of nitrogen for cold-desert ecosystems. Effects of surface disturbance from footprints, bike and vehicle tracks on the nitrogenase activity in these crusts was investigated. Surface disturbances reduced nitrogenase activity by 30-100%. Crusts dominated by the cyanobacterium Microcoleus vaginatus on sandy soils were the most susceptible to disruption; crusts on gypsiferous soils were the least susceptible. Crusts where the soil lichen Collema tenax was present showed less immediate effects; however, nitrogenase activity still declined over time. Levels of nitrogenase activity reduction were affected by the degree of soil disruption and whether sites were dominated by cyanobacteria with or without heterocysts. Consequently, anthropogenic surface disturbances may have serious implications for nitrogen budgets in these ecosystems.

  18. Cleaving the n,n triple bond: the transformation of dinitrogen to ammonia by nitrogenases.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chi Chung; Ribbe, Markus W; Hu, Yilin

    2014-01-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation is a natural process that converts atmospheric nitrogen (N2) to bioavailable ammonia (NH3). This reaction not only plays a key role in supplying bio-accessible nitrogen to all life forms on Earth, but also embodies the powerful chemistry of cleaving the inert N,N triple bond under ambient conditions. The group of enzymes that carry out this reaction are called nitrogenases and typically consist of two redox active protein components, each containing metal cluster(s) that are crucial for catalysis. In the past decade, a number of crystal structures, including several at high resolutions, have been solved. However, the catalytic mechanism of nitrogenase, namely, how the N,N triple bond is cleaved by this enzyme under ambient conditions, has remained elusive. Nevertheless, recent biochemical and spectroscopic studies have led to a better understanding of the potential intermediates of N2 reduction by the molybdenum (Mo)-nitrogenase. In addition, it has been demonstrated that carbon monoxide (CO), which was thought to be an inhibitor of N2 reduction, could also be reduced by the vanadium (V)-nitrogenase to small alkanes and alkenes. This chapter will begin with an introduction to biological nitrogen fixation and Mo-nitrogenase, continue with a discussion of the catalytic mechanism of N2 reduction by Mo-nitrogenase, and conclude with a survey of the current knowledge of N2- and CO-reduction by V-nitrogenase and how V-nitrogenase compares to its Mo-counterpart in these catalytic activities. PMID:25416394

  19. NifX and NifEN exchange NifB cofactor and the VK-cluster, a newly isolated intermediate of the iron-molybdenum cofactor biosynthetic pathway.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Jose A; Igarashi, Robert Y; Soboh, Basem; Curatti, Leonardo; Dean, Dennis R; Ludden, Paul W; Rubio, Luis M

    2007-01-01

    The iron-molybdenum cofactor of nitrogenase (FeMo-co) is synthesized in a multistep process catalysed by several Nif proteins and is finally inserted into a pre-synthesized apo-dinitrogenase to generate mature dinitrogenase protein. The NifEN complex serves as scaffold for some steps of this synthesis, while NifX belongs to a family of small proteins that bind either FeMo-co precursors or FeMo-co during cofactor synthesis. In this work, the binding of FeMo-co precursors and their transfer between purified Azotobacter vinelandii NifX and NifEN proteins was studied to shed light on the role of NifX on FeMo-co synthesis. Purified NifX binds NifB cofactor (NifB-co), a precursor to FeMo-co, with high affinity and is able to transfer it to the NifEN complex. In addition, NifEN and NifX exchange another [Fe-S] cluster that serves as a FeMo-co precursor, and we have designated it as the VK-cluster. In contrast to NifB-co, the VK-cluster is electronic paramagnetic resonance (EPR)-active in the reduced and the oxidized states. The NifX/VK-cluster complex is unable to support in vitro FeMo-co synthesis in the absence of NifEN because further processing of the VK-cluster into FeMo-co requires the simultaneous activities of NifEN and NifH. Our in vitro studies suggest that the role of NifX in vivo is to serve as transient reservoir of FeMo-co precursors and thus help control their flux during FeMo-co synthesis. PMID:17163967

  20. Substrate reduction properties of dinitrogenase activated in vitro are dependent upon the presence of homocitrate or its analogues during iron-molybdenum cofactor synthesis.

    PubMed

    Imperial, J; Hoover, T R; Madden, M S; Ludden, P W; Shah, V K

    1989-09-19

    (R)-2-Hydroxy-1,2,4-butanetricarboxylic acid [(R)-homocitrate] has been has been recently reported to be an integral constituent of the otherwise thought to be inorganic iron-molybdenum cofactor of dinitrogenase [Hoover, T.R., Imperial, J., Ludden, P.W., & Shah, V.K. (1989) Biochemistry 28,2768-2771]. Different organic acids can substitute for homocitrate in an in vitro system for iron-molybdenum cofactor synthesis and incorporation into dinitrogenase [Hoover, T.R., Imperial, J., Ludden, P.W., & Shah, V. K. (1988) Biochemistry 27, 3647-3652]. Dinitrogenase activated with homocitrate-FeMo-co was able to reduce dinitrogen, acetylene, and protons efficiently. Homoisocitrate and isocitrate dinitrogenases did not reduce dinitrogen or acetylene, but showed very high proton reduction activities. Citrate and citramalate dinitrogenases had very low dinitrogen reduction activities and intermediate acetylene and proton reduction activities. CO inhibited proton reduction in both these cases but not in the case of dinitrogenases activated with other homocitrate analogues. By use of these and other commercially available homocitrate analogues in the in vitro system, the structural features of the homocitrate molecule absolutely required for the synthesis of a catalytically competent iron-molybdenum cofactor were determined to be the hydroxyl group, the 1- and 2-carboxyl groups, and the R configuration of the chiral center. The stringency of the structural requirements was dependent on the nitrogenase substrate used for the assay, with dinitrogen having the most stringent requirements followed by acetylene and protons. PMID:2514794

  1. Mutants with enhanced nitrogenase activity in hydroponic Azospirillum brasilense-wheat associations.

    PubMed

    Pereg Gerk, L; Gilchrist, K; Kennedy, I R

    2000-05-01

    The effect of a mutation affecting flocculation, differentiation into cyst-like forms, and root colonization on nitrogenase expression by Azospirillum brasilense is described. The gene flcA of strain Sp7 restored these phenotypes in spontaneous mutants of both strains Sp7 and Sp245. Employing both constitutive pLA-lacZ and nifH-lacZ reporter fusions expressed in situ, the colony morphology, colonization pattern, and potential for nitrogenase activity of spontaneous mutants and flcA Tn5-induced mutants were established. The results of this study show that the ability of Sp7 and Sp245 mutant strains to remain in a vegetative form improved their ability to express nitrogenase activity in association with wheat in a hydroponic system. Restoring the cyst formation and colonization pattern to the spontaneous mutant Sp7-S reduced nitrogenase activity rates in association with plants to that of the wild-type Sp7. Although Tn5-induced flcA mutants showed higher potentials for nitrogenase expression than Sp7, their potentials were lower than that of Sp7-S, indicating that other factors in this strain contribute to its exceptional nitrogenase activity rates on plants. The lack of lateral flagella is not one of these factors, as Sp7-PM23, a spontaneous mutant impaired in swarming and lateral-flagellum production but not in flocculation, showed wild-type nitrogenase activity and expression. The results also suggest factors of importance in evolving an effective symbiosis between Azospirillum and wheat, such as increasing the availability of microaerobic niches along the root, increased supply of carbon sources by the plant, and the retention of the bacterial cells in vegetative form for faster metabolism. PMID:10788397

  2. The vanadium nitrogenase of Azotobacter chroococcum. Reduction of acetylene and ethylene to ethane.

    PubMed Central

    Dilworth, M J; Eady, R R; Eldridge, M E

    1988-01-01

    1. The vanadium (V-) nitrogenase of Azobacter chroococcum transfers up to 7.4% of the electrons used in acetylene (C2H2) reduction for the formation of ethane (C2H6). The apparent Km for C2H2 (6 kPa) is the same for either ethylene (C2H4) or ethane (C2H6) formation and much higher than the reported Km values for C2H2 reduction to C2H4 by molybdenum (Mo-) nitrogenases. Reduction of C2H2 in 2H2O yields predominantly [cis-2H2]ethylene. 2. The ratio of electron flux yielding C2H6 to that yielding C2H4 (the C2H6/C2H4 ratio) is increased by raising the ratio of Fe protein to VFe protein and by increasing the assay temperature up to at least 40 degrees C. pH values above 7.5 decrease the C2H6/C2H4 ratio. 3. C2H4 and C2H6 formation from C2H2 by V-nitrogenase are not inhibited by H2. CO inhibits both processes much less strongly than it inhibits C2H4 formation from C2H2 with Mo-nitrogenase. 4. Although V-nitrogenase also catalyses the slow CO-sensitive reduction of C2H4 to C2H6, free C2H4 is not an intermediate in C2H6 formation from C2H2. 5. Propyne (CH3C identical to CH) is not reduced by the V-nitrogenase. 6. Some implications of these results for the mechanism of C2H6 formation by the V-nitrogenase are discussed. PMID:3162672

  3. DNA Triplexes That Bind Several Cofactor Molecules.

    PubMed

    Vollmer, Sven; Richert, Clemens

    2015-12-14

    Cofactors are critical for energy-consuming processes in the cell. Harnessing such processes for practical applications requires control over the concentration of cofactors. We have recently shown that DNA triplex motifs with a designed binding site can be used to capture and release nucleotides with low micromolar dissociation constants. In order to increase the storage capacity of such triplex motifs, we have explored the limits of ligand binding through designed cavities in the oligopurine tract. Oligonucleotides with up to six non-nucleotide bridges between purines were synthesized and their ability to bind ATP, cAMP or FAD was measured. Triplex motifs with several single-nucleotide binding sites were found to bind purines more tightly than triplexes with one large binding site. The optimized triplex consists of 59 residues and four C3-bridges. It can bind up to four equivalents of ligand with apparent Kd values of 52 µM for ATP, 9 µM for FAD, and 2 µM for cAMP. An immobilized version fuels bioluminescence via release of ATP at body temperature. These results show that motifs for high-density capture, storage and release of energy-rich biomolecules can be constructed from synthetic DNA. PMID:26561335

  4. Requirement of homocitrate for the transfer of a 49V-labeled precursor of the iron-vanadium cofactor from VnfX to nif-apodinitrogenase.

    PubMed

    Ruttimann-Johnson, C; Rangaraj, P; Shah, V K; Ludden, P W

    2001-02-01

    A vanadium- and iron-containing cluster has been shown previously to accumulate on VnfX in the Azotobacter vinelandii mutant strain CA11.1 (DeltanifHDKvnfDGK::spc). In the present study, we show the homocitrate-dependent transfer of (49)V label from VnfX to nif-apodinitrogenase in vitro. This transfer of radiolabel correlates with acquisition of acetylene reduction activity. Acetylene is reduced both to ethylene and ethane by the hybrid holodinitrogenase so formed, a feature characteristic of alternative nitrogenases. Structural analogues of homocitrate prevent the acetylene reduction ability of the resulting dinitrogenase. Addition of NifB cofactor (-co) or a source of vanadium (Na(3)VO(4) or VCl(3)) does not increase nitrogenase activity. Our results suggest that there is in vitro incorporation of homocitrate into the V-Fe-S cluster associated with VnfX and that the completed cluster can be inserted into nif-apodinitrogenase. The homocitrate incorporation reaction and the insertion of the cluster into nif-apodinitrogenase (alpha(2)beta(2)gamma(2)) do not require MgATP. Attempts to achieve FeV-co synthesis using extracts of other FeV-co-negative mutants were unsuccessful, showing that earlier steps in FeV-co synthesis, such as the steps requiring VnfNE or VnfH, do not occur in vitro. PMID:11053414

  5. Electron transfer precedes ATP hydrolysis during nitrogenase catalysis.

    PubMed

    Duval, Simon; Danyal, Karamatullah; Shaw, Sudipta; Lytle, Anna K; Dean, Dennis R; Hoffman, Brian M; Antony, Edwin; Seefeldt, Lance C

    2013-10-01

    The biological reduction of N2 to NH3 catalyzed by Mo-dependent nitrogenase requires at least eight rounds of a complex cycle of events associated with ATP-driven electron transfer (ET) from the Fe protein to the catalytic MoFe protein, with each ET coupled to the hydrolysis of two ATP molecules. Although steps within this cycle have been studied for decades, the nature of the coupling between ATP hydrolysis and ET, in particular the order of ET and ATP hydrolysis, has been elusive. Here, we have measured first-order rate constants for each key step in the reaction sequence, including direct measurement of the ATP hydrolysis rate constant: kATP = 70 s(-1), 25 °C. Comparison of the rate constants establishes that the reaction sequence involves four sequential steps: (i) conformationally gated ET (kET = 140 s(-1), 25 °C), (ii) ATP hydrolysis (kATP = 70 s(-1), 25 °C), (iii) Phosphate release (kPi = 16 s(-1), 25 °C), and (iv) Fe protein dissociation from the MoFe protein (kdiss = 6 s(-1), 25 °C). These findings allow completion of the thermodynamic cycle undergone by the Fe protein, showing that the energy of ATP binding and protein-protein association drive ET, with subsequent ATP hydrolysis and Pi release causing dissociation of the complex between the Fe(ox)(ADP)2 protein and the reduced MoFe protein. PMID:24062462

  6. Aerobic Hydrogen Production via Nitrogenase in Azotobacter vinelandii CA6

    PubMed Central

    Noar, Jesse; Loveless, Telisa; Navarro-Herrero, José Luis; Olson, Jonathan W.

    2015-01-01

    The diazotroph Azotobacter vinelandii possesses three distinct nitrogenase isoenzymes, all of which produce molecular hydrogen as a by-product. In batch cultures, A. vinelandii strain CA6, a mutant of strain CA, displays multiple phenotypes distinct from its parent: tolerance to tungstate, impaired growth and molybdate transport, and increased hydrogen evolution. Determining and comparing the genomic sequences of strains CA and CA6 revealed a large deletion in CA6's genome, encompassing genes related to molybdate and iron transport and hydrogen reoxidation. A series of iron uptake analyses and chemostat culture experiments confirmed iron transport impairment and showed that the addition of fixed nitrogen (ammonia) resulted in cessation of hydrogen production. Additional chemostat experiments compared the hydrogen-producing parameters of different strains: in iron-sufficient, tungstate-free conditions, strain CA6's yields were identical to those of a strain lacking only a single hydrogenase gene. However, in the presence of tungstate, CA6 produced several times more hydrogen. A. vinelandii may hold promise for developing a novel strategy for production of hydrogen as an energy compound. PMID:25911479

  7. Inhibition of nitrogenase activity by metronidazole in rhodopseudomonas capsulata.

    PubMed

    Kelley, B C; Nicholas, D J

    1981-07-01

    Inhibition of photosynthetic growth of Rhodopseudomonas capsulata by metronidazole was dependent on the nitrogen supply in culture solutions. Cultures fixing dinitrogen were more susceptible to inhibition by low concentrations than those supplied with NH4+. Light-dependent C2H2 reduction and H2 production by washed cells were inhibited by 80% and 60% respectively by 1 mM metronidazole. When this compound was first reduced with H2-palladised asbestos prior to assay, it only partially restricted C2H2 reduction in washed cells (33%) compared with unreduced inhibitor (68%). Metronidazole was without effect on other metabolic functions. Thus, even at 40 mM it did not inhibit either (a) dark or light respiration in cells grown under photo- and chemo-heterotrophic conditions; (b) H2-dependent photoreduction of 14CO2; (C) gamma-glutamyltransferase activity of glutamine synthetase in cell-free extracts (25 mM inhibitor). Metronidazole (1 mM) completely inhibited C2H2 reduction by washed cells of Azotobacter vinelandii. The dithionite-dependent C2H2 reduction of a partially purified nitrogenase was only partially inhibited (30%) by 1 mM metronidazole. PMID:6116482

  8. N sub 2 O reduction and HD formation by nitrogenases from a nifV mutant of Klebsiella pneumoniae

    SciTech Connect

    Liang, J.; Burris, R.H. )

    1989-06-01

    Dinitrogenase from a nifV mutant of Klebsiella pneumoniae contains an altered form of iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMoco) that lacks a biologically active homocitric acid molecule. Change in the composition of FeMoco led to substantial variation in the kinetics of nitrogenase action. The K{sub m}s of the mutant enzyme for N{sub 2} and N{sub 2}O were 0.244 and 0.175 atm (24,714 and 17,726 kPa), respectively. The K{sub m} for N{sub 2} was higher and the K{sub m} for N{sub 2}O was lower than that for the wild-type enzyme. The mutant enzyme was ineffective in N{sub 2} fixation, in N{sub 2}O reduction, and in HD formation, as indicated by the low V{sub max} of these reactions with saturating levels of substrate and under conditions of saturating electron flux. These observations provide further support for the concept that N{sub 2}, N{sub 2}O, and D{sub 2} interact with the same form of dinitrogenase. H{sub 2} evolution by the mutant enzyme is only partially inhibited by CO. Observation that different numbers of electrons are stored in CO-inhibited than in noninhibited dinitrogenase before H{sub 2} is released suggests that the mutant enzyme has more sites responsible for H{sub 2} evolution than the wild-type enzyme, whose H{sub 2} evolution is not inhibited by CO.

  9. Azolla filiculoides Nitrogenase Activity Decrease Induced by Inoculation with Chlamydomonas sp.

    PubMed

    Habte, M

    1986-11-01

    Experiments were conducted to determine the influence of Chlamydomonas sp. on nitrogen fixation (C(2)H(2) --> C(2)H(4)) in Azolla filiculoides and on the nitrogen fixation and growth of free-living Anabaena azollae 2B organisms. Inoculation of azolla medium with Chlamydomonas sp. was associated with decreased nitrogenase activity in A. filiculoides and with increases in the density of a fungal population identified as Acremonium sp. Subsequent inoculation of azolla medium with this fungus was also accompanied by a significant decrease in nitrogenase activity of A. filiculoides. However, the extent of depression of nitrogenase activity was significantly higher when azolla medium was inoculated with Chlamydomonas sp. than when it was inoculated with Acremonium sp. Inoculation of nitrogen-free Stanier medium with either Acremonium sp. or Chlamydomonas sp. did not adversely affect the growth or nitrogenase activity of free-living A. azollae. Decreased nitrogenase activity in A. filiculoides is apparently related to the adverse influence of the green alga and the fungus on the macrosymbiont. The mechanisms that might be involved are discussed. PMID:16347211

  10. Azolla filiculoides Nitrogenase Activity Decrease Induced by Inoculation with Chlamydomonas sp. †

    PubMed Central

    Habte, Mitiku

    1986-01-01

    Experiments were conducted to determine the influence of Chlamydomonas sp. on nitrogen fixation (C2H2 → C2H4) in Azolla filiculoides and on the nitrogen fixation and growth of free-living Anabaena azollae 2B organisms. Inoculation of azolla medium with Chlamydomonas sp. was associated with decreased nitrogenase activity in A. filiculoides and with increases in the density of a fungal population identified as Acremonium sp. Subsequent inoculation of azolla medium with this fungus was also accompanied by a significant decrease in nitrogenase activity of A. filiculoides. However, the extent of depression of nitrogenase activity was significantly higher when azolla medium was inoculated with Chlamydomonas sp. than when it was inoculated with Acremonium sp. Inoculation of nitrogen-free Stanier medium with either Acremonium sp. or Chlamydomonas sp. did not adversely affect the growth or nitrogenase activity of free-living A. azollae. Decreased nitrogenase activity in A. filiculoides is apparently related to the adverse influence of the green alga and the fungus on the macrosymbiont. The mechanisms that might be involved are discussed. PMID:16347211

  11. First-principles calculations of Fischer-Tropsch processes catalyzed by nitrogenase enzymes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varley, Joel; Grabow, Lars; Nørskov, Jens

    2012-02-01

    The nitrogenase enzyme system of the bacteria Azotobacter vinelandii, which is used in nature to catalyze ammonia synthesis, has been found recently to catalyze the efficient conversion of carbon monoxide (CO) into hydrocarbons under ambient temperature and pressure [1]. These findings indicate that nitrogenase enzymes could inspire more efficient catalysts for electrochemical CO and CO2 reduction to liquid fuels. The nitrogenase variants, in which vanadium substitutes the molybdenum in the active site of the enzyme, show distinct features in their reaction pathways to hydrocarbon production. To compare and contrast the catalytic properties of these nitrogenase enzymes, we perform first-principles calculations to map out the reaction pathways for both nitrogen fixation and for the reduction of CO to higher-order hydrocarbons. We discuss the trends and differences between the two enzymes and detail the relevant chemical species and rate-limiting steps involved in the reactions. By utilizing this information, we predict the electrochemical conditions necessary for the catalytic reduction of CO into fuels by the nitrogenase active sites, analogous to a Fischer-Tropsch process requiring less extreme conditions. [4pt] [1] Y. Hu, C.C. Lee, M.W. Ribbe, Science 333, 753 (2011)

  12. Activation of vanadium nitrogenase expression in Azotobacter vinelandii DJ54 revertant in the presence of molybdenum.

    PubMed

    Lei, S; Pulakat, L; Gavini, N

    2000-09-29

    Azotobacter vinelandii carries three different and genetically distinct nitrogenase systems on its chromosome. Expression of all three nitrogenases is repressed by high concentrations of fixed nitrogen. Expression of individual nitrogenase systems is under the control of specific metal availability. We have isolated a novel type of A. vinelandii DJ54 revertant, designated A. vinelandii BG54, which carries a defined deletion in the nifH gene and is capable of diazotrophic growth in the presence of molybdenum. Inactivation of nifDK has no effect on growth of this mutant strain in nitrogen-free medium suggesting that products of the nif system are not involved in supporting diazotrophic growth of A. vinelandii BG54. Similar to the wild type, A. vinelandii BG54 is also sensitive to 1 mM tungsten. Tn5-B21 mutagenesis to inactivate the genes specific to individual systems revealed that the structural genes for vnf nitrogenase are required for diazotrophic growth of A. vinelandii BG54. Analysis of promoter activity of different nif systems revealed that the vnf promoter is activated in A. vinelandii BG54 in the presence of molybdenum. Based on these data we conclude that A. vinelandii BG54 strain utilizes vnf nitrogenase proteins to support its diazotrophic growth. PMID:11018539

  13. Regulation of nitrogenase gene expression in anaerobic cultures of Anabaena variabilis.

    PubMed Central

    Helber, J T; Johnson, T R; Yarbrough, L R; Hirschberg, R

    1988-01-01

    Derepression of nitrogenase gene expression was studied at the mRNA and enzyme activity levels in anaerobic cultures of Anabaena variabilis 29413. Cells, previously grown with ammonium chloride, were incubated in the absence of fixed nitrogen compounds under an Ar atmosphere with dichlorophenyldimethyl-urea present to inhibit oxygen evolution. The appearance of nitrogenase mRNA (measured by dot blot hybridization analysis) and nitrogenase activity (measured as acetylene-reducing activity) was followed, and the cells were also observed by phase-contrast microscopy. Nitrogenase mRNA could be detected after 1.5 to 2.0 h of nitrogen starvation; enzyme activity appeared about 1 h later. Although enzyme activity increased for many hours, mRNA levels reached a steady state rapidly. Neither heterocysts nor proheterocysts formed under these conditions; however, the cells were observed to shrink and become chlorotic. When anaerobic, derepressed cultures were exposed to oxygen, nitrogenase mRNA levels decreased very rapidly. Images PMID:3123456

  14. Carbon dioxide reduction to methane and coupling with acetylene to form propylene catalyzed by remodeled nitrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zhi-Yong; Moure, Vivian R.; Dean, Dennis R.; Seefeldt, Lance C.

    2012-01-01

    A doubly substituted form of the nitrogenase MoFe protein (α-70Val→Ala, α-195His→Gln) has the capacity to catalyze the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) to yield methane (CH4). Under optimized conditions, 1 nmol of the substituted MoFe protein catalyzes the formation of 21 nmol of CH4 within 20 min. The catalytic rate depends on the partial pressure of CO2 (or concentration of HCO3−) and the electron flux through nitrogenase. The doubly substituted MoFe protein also has the capacity to catalyze the unprecedented formation of propylene (H2C = CH-CH3) through the reductive coupling of CO2 and acetylene (HC≡CH). In light of these observations, we suggest that an emerging understanding of the mechanistic features of nitrogenase could be relevant to the design of synthetic catalysts for CO2 sequestration and formation of olefins. PMID:23150564

  15. Expression of Active Subunit of Nitrogenase via Integration into Plant Organelle Genome.

    PubMed

    Ivleva, Natalia B; Groat, Jeanna; Staub, Jeffrey M; Stephens, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen availability is crucial for crop yield with nitrogen fertilizer accounting for a large percentage of farmers' expenses. However, an untimely or excessive application of fertilizer can increase risks of negative environmental effects. These factors, along with the environmental and energy costs of synthesizing nitrogen fertilizer, led us to seek out novel biotechnology-driven approaches to supply nitrogen to plants. The strategy we focused on involves transgenic expression of nitrogenase, a bacterial multi-subunit enzyme that can capture atmospheric nitrogen. Here we report expression of the active Fe subunit of nitrogenase via integration into the tobacco plastid genome of bacterial gene sequences modified for expression in plastid. Our study suggests that it will be possible to engineer plants that are able to produce their own nitrogen fertilizer by expressing nitrogenase genes in plant plastids. PMID:27529475

  16. Expression of Active Subunit of Nitrogenase via Integration into Plant Organelle Genome

    PubMed Central

    Groat, Jeanna; Staub, Jeffrey M.; Stephens, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen availability is crucial for crop yield with nitrogen fertilizer accounting for a large percentage of farmers’ expenses. However, an untimely or excessive application of fertilizer can increase risks of negative environmental effects. These factors, along with the environmental and energy costs of synthesizing nitrogen fertilizer, led us to seek out novel biotechnology-driven approaches to supply nitrogen to plants. The strategy we focused on involves transgenic expression of nitrogenase, a bacterial multi-subunit enzyme that can capture atmospheric nitrogen. Here we report expression of the active Fe subunit of nitrogenase via integration into the tobacco plastid genome of bacterial gene sequences modified for expression in plastid. Our study suggests that it will be possible to engineer plants that are able to produce their own nitrogen fertilizer by expressing nitrogenase genes in plant plastids. PMID:27529475

  17. Dependence of oxygen-tolerant nitrogenase activity on divalent cations in Azotobacter vinelandii.

    PubMed

    Peterson, J B

    1992-05-01

    Nitrogenase activity of washed Azotobacter vinelandii cells was enhanced by the addition of Ca2+ and Mg2+, and the enhancement increased with the O2 concentration. In assays provided with a level of O2 that was initially supraoptimal and inhibitory to nitrogenase activity, the addition of Ca2+ or Mg2+ affected both the maximum respiration rate (Vmax) of the cells and the apparent affinity [KS(O2)] of cell respiration for O2. Changes in these parameters correlated with changes in nitrogenase activity. Aeration-dependent increases in Vmax and KS(O2) were inhibited by rifampin and chloramphenicol and were also observed in ammonium-grown cultures. PMID:1577706

  18. Reduction of N2 by supported tungsten clusters gives a model of the process by nitrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Murakami, Junichi; Yamaguchi, Wataru

    2012-01-01

    Metalloenzymes catalyze difficult chemical reactions under mild conditions. Mimicking their functions is a challenging task and it has been investigated using homogeneous systems containing metal complexes. The nitrogenase that converts N2 to NH3 under mild conditions is one of such enzymes. Efforts to realize the biological function have continued for more than four decades, which has resulted in several reports of reduction of N2, ligated to metal complexes in solutions, to NH3 by protonation under mild conditions. Here, we show that seemingly distinct supported small tungsten clusters in a dry environment reduce N2 under mild conditions like the nitrogenase. N2 is reduced to NH3 via N2H4 by addition of neutral H atoms, which agrees with the mechanism recently proposed for the N2 reduction on the active site of nitrogenase. The process on the supported clusters gives a model of the biological N2 reduction. PMID:22586517

  19. Catalysis in Enzymatic Decarboxylations: Comparison of Selected Cofactor-dependent and Cofactor-independent Examples

    PubMed Central

    Jordan, Frank; Patel, Hetalben

    2013-01-01

    This review is focused on three types of enzymes decarboxylating very different substrates: (1) Thiamin diphosphate (ThDP)-dependent enzymes reacting with 2-oxo acids; (2) Pyridoxal phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzymes reacting with α-amino acids; and (3) An enzyme with no known co-factors, orotidine 5'-monophosphate decarboxylase (OMPDC). While the first two classes have been much studied for many years, during the past decade studies of both classes have revealed novel mechanistic insight challenging accepted understanding. The enzyme OMPDC has posed a challenge to the enzymologist attempting to explain a 1017-fold rate acceleration in the absence of cofactors or even metal ions. A comparison of the available evidence on the three types of decarboxylases underlines some common features and more differences. The field of decarboxylases remains an interesting and challenging one for the mechanistic enzymologist notwithstanding the large amount of information already available. PMID:23914308

  20. Regulation of V-nitrogenase genes in Anabaena variabilis by RNA processing and by dual repressors.

    PubMed

    Pratte, Brenda S; Sheridan, Ryan; James, Jessie A; Thiel, Teresa

    2013-04-01

    Anabaena variabilis ATCC 29413 fixes nitrogen in specialized cells called heterocysts using either a Mo-nitrogenase or a V-nitrogenase. V-nitrogenase structural genes, vnfDGK, as well as vnfEN form an operon with ava4025, located upstream of vnfDG that is repressed by fixed nitrogen and by Mo. The ava4025-vnfDGKEN operon is under the control of a Mo-repressible promoter located nearly 600 bp upstream of ava4025. Levels of vnfDG transcript were about 500-fold higher than ava4025, the first gene of the operon. This may be the result of RNA processing at a site 87 bp upstream of vnfDG that was initially identified as the transcription start site. A strain with a deletion in the coding region of ava4025 grew diazotrophically with Mo or with V. Two similar proteins, VnfR1 and VnfR2, whose genes are located some distance from the ava4025-vnfDGKEN operon, each repressed transcription from the ava4025-vnfDGKEN promoter and a mutant lacking both VnfR1 and VnfR2 made the V-nitrogenase in the presence of Mo. Overexpression of the V-nitrogenase in the double vnfR1 vnfR2 mutant resulted in decreased activity of the Mo-nitrogenase. VnfR1 bound specifically, in vitro, to a region upstream of the ava4025 promoter. PMID:23517490

  1. Control of p97 function by cofactor binding.

    PubMed

    Buchberger, Alexander; Schindelin, Hermann; Hänzelmann, Petra

    2015-09-14

    p97 (also known as Cdc48, Ter94, and VCP) is an essential, abundant and highly conserved ATPase driving the turnover of ubiquitylated proteins in eukaryotes. Even though p97 is involved in highly diverse cellular pathways and processes, it exhibits hardly any substrate specificity on its own. Instead, it relies on a large number of regulatory cofactors controlling substrate specificity and turnover. The complexity as well as temporal and spatial regulation of the interactions between p97 and its cofactors is only beginning to be understood at the molecular level. Here, we give an overview on the structural framework of p97 interactions with its cofactors, the emerging principles underlying the assembly of complexes with different cofactors, and the pathogenic effects of disease-associated p97 mutations on cofactor binding. PMID:26320413

  2. Protein acetylation in metabolism - metabolites and cofactors.

    PubMed

    Menzies, Keir J; Zhang, Hongbo; Katsyuba, Elena; Auwerx, Johan

    2016-01-01

    Reversible acetylation was initially described as an epigenetic mechanism regulating DNA accessibility. Since then, this process has emerged as a controller of histone and nonhistone acetylation that integrates key physiological processes such as metabolism, circadian rhythm and cell cycle, along with gene regulation in various organisms. The widespread and reversible nature of acetylation also revitalized interest in the mechanisms that regulate lysine acetyltransferases (KATs) and deacetylases (KDACs) in health and disease. Changes in protein or histone acetylation are especially relevant for many common diseases including obesity, diabetes mellitus, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, as well as for some rare diseases such as mitochondrial diseases and lipodystrophies. In this Review, we examine the role of reversible acetylation in metabolic control and how changes in levels of metabolites or cofactors, including nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, nicotinamide, coenzyme A, acetyl coenzyme A, zinc and butyrate and/or β-hydroxybutyrate, directly alter KAT or KDAC activity to link energy status to adaptive cellular and organismal homeostasis. PMID:26503676

  3. Spectroscopic studies of molybdenum complexes as models for nitrogenase

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, T.P.

    1981-05-01

    Because biological nitrogen fixation requires Mo, there is an interest in inorganic Mo complexes which mimic the reactions of nitrogen-fixing enzymes. Two such complexes are the dimer Mo/sub 2/O/sub 4/ (cysteine)/sub 2//sup 2 -/ and trans-Mo(N/sub 2/)/sub 2/(dppe)/sub 2/ (dppe = 1,2-bis(diphenylphosphino)ethane). The H/sup 1/ and C/sup 13/ NMR of solutions of Mo/sub 2/O/sub 4/(cys)/sub 2//sup 2 -/ are described. It is shown that in aqueous solution the cysteine ligands assume at least three distinct configurations. A step-wise dissociation of the cysteine ligand is proposed to explain the data. The Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) of trans-Mo(N/sub 2/)/sub 2/(dppe)/sub 2/ is described and compared to the EXAFS of MoH/sub 4/(dppe)/sub 2/. The spectra are fitted to amplitude and phase parameters developed at Bell Laboratories. On the basis of this analysis, one can determine (1) that the dinitrogen complex contains nitrogen and the hydride complex does not and (2) the correct Mo-N distance. This is significant because the Mo inn both complexes is coordinated by four P atoms which dominate the EXAFS. A similar sort of interference is present in nitrogenase due to S coordination of the Mo in the enzyme. This model experiment indicates that, given adequate signal to noise ratios, the presence or absence of dinitrogen coordination to Mo in the enzyme may be determined by EXAFS using existing data analysis techniques. A new reaction between Mo/sub 2/O/sub 4/(cys)/sub 2//sup 2 -/ and acetylene is described to the extent it is presently understood. A strong EPR signal is observed, suggesting the production of stable Mo(V) monomers. EXAFS studies support this suggestion. The Mo K-edge is described. The edge data suggests Mo(VI) is also produced in the reaction. Ultraviolet spectra suggest that cysteine is released in the course of the reaction.

  4. Nitrogenase activity in Trifolium subterraneum L. in relation to the uptake of nitrate ions. [Rhizobium trifolii

    SciTech Connect

    Silsbury, J.H.

    1987-07-01

    An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that, when nitrogenase and nitrate reductase both contribute to the nitrogen nutrition of a nodulated legume, nitrogenase activity is inversely proportional to the rate of accumulation of organic nitrogen derived from the reduction of nitrate. Trifolium subterraneum L. plants, inoculated with Rhizobium trifolii and sown as small swards, were allowed to establish a closed canopy and steady rates of growth, dinitrogen fixation, and nitrogen accumulation. Swards were then supplied with nutrient solutions of 0, 0.5, 1.0, or 2.5 mM NO/sub 3//sup -/ with a 29.69% enrichment of /sup 15/N and allowed to grow for a further 33 days. Harvests were made to measure dry weight, nitrogen accumulation, /sup 15/N accumulation, NO/sub 3//sup -/ content and nitrogenase activity by acetylene reduction assay. Since the /sup 15/N of the plant organic matter could have been derived only from the NO/sub 3//sup -/ of the nutrient solution, its rate of accumulation provided a measure of the rate of NO/sub 3//sup -/ reduction. It was found that as this rate increased in response to external NO/sub 3//sup -/ concentration the rate of nitrogenase activity decreased proportionately. It is concluded that the reduction of nitrate and the reduction of dinitrogen act in a complementary manner to supply a plant with organic nitrogen for growth.

  5. Genes required for formation of the apoMoFe protein of Klebsiella pneumoniae nitrogenase in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Harris, G S; White, T C; Flory, J E; Orme-Johnson, W H

    1990-09-15

    A binary plasmid system was used to produce nitrogenase components in Escherichia coli and subsequently to define a minimum set of nitrogen fixation (nif) genes required for the production of the iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMoco) reactivatable apomolybdenum-iron (apoMoFe) protein of nitrogenase. The active MoFe protein is an alpha 2 beta 2 tetramer containing two FeMoco clusters and 4 Fe4S4 P centers (for review see, Orme-Johnson, W.H. (1985) Annu. Rev. Biophys. Biophys. Chem. 14, 419-459). The plasmid pVL15, carrying a tac-promoted nifA activator gene, was coharbored in E. coli with the plasmid pGH1 which contained nifHDKTYENXUSVWZMF' derived from the chromosome of the nitrogen fixing bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae. The apoMoFe protein produced in E. coli by pGH1 + VL15 was identical to the apoprotein in derepressed cells of the nifB- mutant of K. pneumoniae (UN106) in its electrophoretic properties on nondenaturing polyacrylamide gels as well as in its ability to be activated by FeMoco. The constituent peptides migrated identically to those from purified MoFe protein during electrophoresis on denaturing gels. The concentrations of apoMoFe protein produced in nif-transformed strains of E. coli were greater than 50% of the levels of MoFe protein observed in derepressed wild-type K. pneumoniae. Systematic deletion of individual nif genes carried by pGH1 has established the requirements for the maximal production of the FeMoco-reactivatable apoMoFe protein to be the following gene products, NifHDKTYUSWZM+A. It appears that several of the genes (nifT, Y, U, W, and Z) are only required for maximal production of the apoMoFe protein, while others (nifH, D, K, and S) are absolutely required for synthesis of this protein in E. coli. One curious result is that the nifH gene product, the peptide of the Fe protein, but not active Fe protein itself, is required for formation of the apoMoFe protein. This suggests the possibility of a ternary complex of the NifH, D, and K

  6. Neutrino mass matrices with two vanishing elements/cofactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dev, S.; Singh, Lal; Raj, Desh

    2015-08-01

    We study the phenomenological implications of the recent neutrino data for class B of two texture zeros and two vanishing cofactors for Majorana neutrinos in the flavor basis. We find that the classes () of two texture zeros and the classes () of two vanishing cofactors have similar predictions for neutrino oscillation parameters for the same mass hierarchy. Similar predictions for the classes () of two texture zeros and classes () of two vanishing cofactors are expected. However, a preference for a shift in the quadrant of the Dirac-type CP-violating phase () in contrast to the earlier analysis has been predicted for a relatively large value of the reactor neutrino mixing angle () for class B of two texture zeros and two vanishing cofactors for an inverted mass spectrum. No such shift in the quadrant of has been found for the normal mass spectrum.

  7. Enzyme cofactors: Double-edged sword for catalysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, Ivaylo

    2013-01-01

    The metal cofactors responsible for the activity of CDK2 -- a representative member of the kinase superfamily of enzymes -- have now been shown to also have inhibitory effects during the catalytic cycle.

  8. Kinetics of Nif gene expression in a nitrogen-fixing bacterium.

    PubMed

    Poza-Carrión, César; Jiménez-Vicente, Emilio; Navarro-Rodríguez, Mónica; Echavarri-Erasun, Carlos; Rubio, Luis M

    2014-02-01

    Nitrogen fixation is a tightly regulated trait. Switching from N2 fixation-repressing conditions to the N2-fixing state is carefully controlled in diazotrophic bacteria mainly because of the high energy demand that it imposes. By using quantitative real-time PCR and quantitative immunoblotting, we show here how nitrogen fixation (nif) gene expression develops in Azotobacter vinelandii upon derepression. Transient expression of the transcriptional activator-encoding gene, nifA, was followed by subsequent, longer-duration waves of expression of the nitrogenase biosynthetic and structural genes. Importantly, expression timing, expression levels, and NifA dependence varied greatly among the nif operons. Moreover, the exact concentrations of Nif proteins and their changes over time were determined for the first time. Nif protein concentrations were exquisitely balanced, with FeMo cofactor biosynthetic proteins accumulating at levels 50- to 100-fold lower than those of the structural proteins. Mutants lacking nitrogenase structural genes or impaired in FeMo cofactor biosynthesis showed overenhanced responses to derepression that were proportional to the degree of nitrogenase activity impairment, consistent with the existence of at least two negative-feedback regulatory mechanisms. The first such mechanism responded to the levels of fixed nitrogen, whereas the second mechanism appeared to respond to the levels of the mature NifDK component. Altogether, these findings provide a framework to engineer N2 fixation in nondiazotrophs. PMID:24244007

  9. Kinetics of nif Gene Expression in a Nitrogen-Fixing Bacterium

    PubMed Central

    Poza-Carrión, César; Jiménez-Vicente, Emilio; Navarro-Rodríguez, Mónica; Echavarri-Erasun, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogen fixation is a tightly regulated trait. Switching from N2 fixation-repressing conditions to the N2-fixing state is carefully controlled in diazotrophic bacteria mainly because of the high energy demand that it imposes. By using quantitative real-time PCR and quantitative immunoblotting, we show here how nitrogen fixation (nif) gene expression develops in Azotobacter vinelandii upon derepression. Transient expression of the transcriptional activator-encoding gene, nifA, was followed by subsequent, longer-duration waves of expression of the nitrogenase biosynthetic and structural genes. Importantly, expression timing, expression levels, and NifA dependence varied greatly among the nif operons. Moreover, the exact concentrations of Nif proteins and their changes over time were determined for the first time. Nif protein concentrations were exquisitely balanced, with FeMo cofactor biosynthetic proteins accumulating at levels 50- to 100-fold lower than those of the structural proteins. Mutants lacking nitrogenase structural genes or impaired in FeMo cofactor biosynthesis showed overenhanced responses to derepression that were proportional to the degree of nitrogenase activity impairment, consistent with the existence of at least two negative-feedback regulatory mechanisms. The first such mechanism responded to the levels of fixed nitrogen, whereas the second mechanism appeared to respond to the levels of the mature NifDK component. Altogether, these findings provide a framework to engineer N2 fixation in nondiazotrophs. PMID:24244007

  10. Light-driven dinitrogen reduction catalyzed by a CdS:nitrogenase MoFe protein biohybrid.

    PubMed

    Brown, Katherine A; Harris, Derek F; Wilker, Molly B; Rasmussen, Andrew; Khadka, Nimesh; Hamby, Hayden; Keable, Stephen; Dukovic, Gordana; Peters, John W; Seefeldt, Lance C; King, Paul W

    2016-04-22

    The splitting of dinitrogen (N2) and reduction to ammonia (NH3) is a kinetically complex and energetically challenging multistep reaction. In the Haber-Bosch process, N2 reduction is accomplished at high temperature and pressure, whereas N2 fixation by the enzyme nitrogenase occurs under ambient conditions using chemical energy from adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis. We show that cadmium sulfide (CdS) nanocrystals can be used to photosensitize the nitrogenase molybdenum-iron (MoFe) protein, where light harvesting replaces ATP hydrolysis to drive the enzymatic reduction of N2 into NH3 The turnover rate was 75 per minute, 63% of the ATP-coupled reaction rate for the nitrogenase complex under optimal conditions. Inhibitors of nitrogenase (i.e., acetylene, carbon monoxide, and dihydrogen) suppressed N2 reduction. The CdS:MoFe protein biohybrids provide a photochemical model for achieving light-driven N2 reduction to NH3. PMID:27102481

  11. Control of nitrogenase recovery from oxygen inactivation by ammonia in the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain CA (ATCC 33047).

    PubMed Central

    Smith, R L; Van Baalen, C; Tabita, F R

    1990-01-01

    The control of nitrogenase recovery from inactivation by oxygen was studied in Anabaena sp. strain CA (ATCC 33047). Nitrogenase activity (acetylene reduction) in cultures grown in 1% CO2 in air was inhibited by exposure to 1% CO2-99% O2 and allowed to recover in the presence of high oxygen tensions. Cultures exposed to hyperbaric levels of oxygen in the presence of 10 mM NH4NO3 were incapable of regaining nitrogenase activity, whereas control cultures returned to 65 to 80% of their original activity within about 3 h after exposure to high oxygen tension. In contrast to the regulation of heterocyst differentiation and nitrogenase synthesis, recovery from oxygen inactivation in this organism was shown to be under the control of NH4+ rather than NO3-. PMID:2110151

  12. Azotobacter vinelandii vanadium nitrogenase: formaldehyde is a product of catalyzed HCN reduction, and excess ammonia arises directly from catalyzed azide reduction.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Karl; Dilworth, Michael J; Newton, William E

    2006-04-01

    The Mo-nitrogenase-catalyzed reduction of both cyanide and azide results in the production of excess NH3, which is an amount of NH3 over and above that expected to be formed from the well-recognized reactions. Several suggestions about the possible sources of excess NH3 have been made, but previous attempts to characterize these reactions have met with either limited (or no) success or controversy. Because V-nitrogenase has a propensity to release partially reduced intermediates, e.g., N2H4 during N2 reduction, it was selected to probe the reduction of cyanide and azide. Sensitive assay procedures were developed and employed to monitor the production of either HCHO or CH3OH (its further two-electron-reduced product) from HCN. Like Mo-nitrogenase, V-nitrogenase suffered electron-flux inhibition by CN- (but was much less sensitive than Mo-nitrogenase), but unlike the case for Mo-nitrogenase, MgATP hydrolysis was also inhibited by CN-. V-Nitrogenase also released more of the four-electron-reduced intermediate, CH3NH2, than did Mo-nitrogenase. At high NaCN concentrations, V-nitrogenase directed a significant percentage of electron flux into excess NH3, and under these conditions, substantial amounts of HCHO, but no CH3OH, were detected for the first time. With azide, in contrast to the case for Mo-nitrogenase, both total electron flux and MgATP hydrolysis with V-nitrogenase were inhibited. V-Nitrogenase, unlike Mo-nitrogenase, showed no preference between the two-electron reduction to N2-plus-NH3 and the six-electron reduction to N2H4-plus-NH3. V-Nitrogenase formed more excess NH3, but reduction of the N2 produced by the two-electron reduction of N3(-) was not its source. Rather, it was formed directly by the eight-electron reduction of N3(-). Unlike Mo-nitrogenase, CO could not completely eliminate either cyanide or azide reduction by V-nitrogenase. CO did, however, eliminate the inhibition of both electron flux and MgATP hydrolysis by CN-, but not that caused by

  13. Effect of nano-zinc oxide on nitrogenase activity in legumes: an interplay of concentration and exposure time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Praveen; Burman, Uday; Santra, P.

    2015-07-01

    Experiments were carried out to study the effect of zinc oxide nanoparticles (nano-ZnO) on nitrogenase activity in legumes. In the first experiment, nodulated roots of cluster bean, moth bean, green gram and cowpea were dipped in Hoagland solution containing 1.5 and 10 μg mL-1 of nano-ZnO for 24 h. Nitrogenase activity in cluster bean, green gram and cowpea roots increased after dipping in solution containing 1.5 μg mL-1 nano-ZnO, but decreased in roots dipped in solution containing 10 μg mL-1 nano-ZnO. However, in moth bean roots, nitrogenase activity decreased after dipping in solution containing either concentration of nano-ZnO. In the second experiment, nodulated roots of green gram were dipped in Hoagland solution containing 1, 4, 6, 8 and 10 μg mL-1 nano-ZnO for 6-30 h before estimating nitrogenase activity. Results showed that an interactive effect of nano-ZnO concentration and exposure time influenced nitrogenase activity. The possible reasons behind this effect have been discussed. A model [ A = 3.44 + 0.46 t - 0.01 t 2 - 0.002 tc 2 ( R 2 = 0.81)] involving linear and power components was developed to simulate the response of nitrogenase activity in green gram roots to the concentration and exposure time of nano-ZnO.

  14. Role of Oxygen in the Limitation and Inhibition of Nitrogenase Activity and Respiration Rate in Individual Soybean Nodules.

    PubMed Central

    Kuzma, M. M.; Hunt, S.; Layzell, D. B.

    1993-01-01

    Although infected cell O2 concentration (Oi) is known to limit respiration and nitrogenase activity in legume nodules, techniques have not been available to measure both processes simultaneously in an individual legume nodule. Consequently, details of the relationship between nitrogenase activity and Oi are not fully appreciated. For the present study, a probe was designed that allowed open circuit measurements of H2 evolution (nitrogenase activity) and CO2 evolution (respiration rate) in a single attached soybean nodule while simultaneously monitoring fractional oxygenation of leghemoglobin (and thereby Oi) with a nodule oximeter. Compared to measurements of whole nodulated roots, use of the probe led to inhibition of nitrogenase activity in the single nodules. During oximetry measurements, total nitrogenase activity (TNA; peak H2 evolution in Ar/O2) in the single nodules was 16% of that in whole nodulated roots and 48% of nodulated root activity when Oi was not being measured simultaneously. This inhibition did not affect the nodules' ability to regulate Oi, because exposure to Ar/O2 (80:20, v/v) caused nitrogenase activity and respiration rate to decline, and this decline was linearly correlated with a concurrent decrease in Oi. When the nodules were subsequently exposed to a linear increase in external pO2 from 20 to 100% O2 at 2.7% O2/min, fractional leghemoglobin oxygenation first increased gradually and then more rapidly, reaching saturation at a pO2 between 76 and 100% O2. Plots of nitrogenase activity and respiration rate against Oi showed that rates increased with Oi up to a value of 57 nM, with half-maximal rates being attained at Oi values between 10 and 14 nM O2. The maximum nitrogenase activity achieved during the increase in pO2 (potential nitrogenase activity) was 30 to 57% of that measured in intact nodulated roots, showing that O2 limitation of nitrogenase activity could account for a significant proportion of the inhibition of TNA associated with

  15. Application of the photoacoustic method to the measurement of acetylene reduction by nitrogenase enzyme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schramm, D. U.; Sthel, M. S.; Carneiro, L. O.; Franco, A. A.; Campos, A. C.; Vargas, H.

    2005-06-01

    Nitrogenase is an enzyme responsible for the reduction of the atmospheric N2 into NH4^+, which represents the key entry point of the molecular nitrogen into the biogeochemical cycle of nitrogen. This enzyme is present in the rhizobial bacteroids, which are symbionts in a Leguminosae plant (Acacia Holosericea), and also reduces acetylene into ethylene at the same rate as the nitrogen reduction. Therefore, a CO2 Laser Photoacoustic system was used for detecting and monitoring the ethylene emission by the nitrogenase activity, in the rhizobial symbionts in Acacia Holosericea, when they are confined in test tubes with acetylene at two different volumes (0.1 and 0.5 ml). Ethylene concentrations are also determined in the ppm range.

  16. Phosphoribulokinase mediates nitrogenase-induced carbon dioxide fixation gene repression in Rhodobacter sphaeroides.

    PubMed

    Farmer, Ryan M; Tabita, F Robert

    2015-11-01

    In many organisms there is a balance between carbon and nitrogen metabolism. These observations extend to the nitrogen-fixing, nonsulfur purple bacteria, which have the classic family of P(II) regulators that coordinate signals of carbon and nitrogen status to regulate nitrogen metabolism. Curiously, these organisms also possess a reverse mechanism to regulate carbon metabolism based on cellular nitrogen status. In this work, studies in Rhodobacter sphaeroides firmly established that the activity of the enzyme that catalyses nitrogen fixation, nitrogenase, induces a signal that leads to repression of genes encoding enzymes of the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) CO2 fixation pathway. Additionally, genetic and metabolomic experiments revealed that NADH-activated phosphoribulokinase is an intermediate in the signalling pathway. Thus, nitrogenase activity appears to be linked to cbb gene repression through phosphoribulokinase. PMID:26306848

  17. Genes required for rapid expression of nitrogenase activity in Azotobacter vinelandii.

    PubMed

    Curatti, Leonardo; Brown, Carolyn S; Ludden, Paul W; Rubio, Luis M

    2005-05-01

    Rnf proteins are proposed to form membrane-protein complexes involved in the reduction of target proteins such as the transcriptional regulator SoxR or the dinitrogenase reductase component of nitrogenase. In this work, we investigate the role of rnf genes in the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Azotobacter vinelandii. We show that A. vinelandii has two clusters of rnf-like genes: rnf1, whose expression is nif-regulated, and rnf2, which is expressed independently of the nitrogen source in the medium. Deletion of each of these gene clusters produces a time delay in nitrogen-fixing capacity and, consequently, in diazotrophic growth. Deltarnf mutations cause two distinguishable effects on the nitrogenase system: (i), slower nifHDK gene expression and (ii), impairment of nitrogenase function. In these mutants, dinitrogenase reductase activity is lowered, whereas dinitrogenase activity remains essentially unaltered. Further analysis indicates that deltarnf mutants accumulate an inactive and iron-deficient form of NifH because they have lower rates of incorporation of [4Fe-4S] into NifH. Deltarnf mutations also cause a noticeable decrease in aconitase activity; however, they do not produce general oxidative stress or modification of Fe metabolism in A. vinelandii. Our results suggest the existence of a redox regulatory mechanism in A. vinelandii that controls the rate of expression and maturation of nitrogenase by the activity of the Rnf protein complexes. rnf1 plays a major and more specific role in this scheme, but the additive effects of mutations in rnf1 and rnf2 indicate the existence of functional complementation between the two homologous systems. PMID:15845763

  18. Phylogeny of nitrogenase sequences in Frankia and other nitrogen-fixing microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Normand, P; Bousquet, J

    1989-11-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence of a nitrogenase (nifH) gene was determined from a second strain (HRN18a) of Frankia, an aerobic soil bacterium. The open reading frame is 870 bp long and encodes a polypeptide of 290 amino acids. The amino acid and nucleotide sequences were compared with 21 other published sequences. The two Frankia strains were 96% similar at the amino acid level and 93% similar at the nucleotide level. A number of methods were used to infer phylogenies of these nitrogen fixers, based on nifH amino acid and nucleotide sequences. The results obtained do not agree completely with other phylogenies for these bacteria and thus make probable occurrences of lateral transfer of the nif genes. The time of divergence of the two Frankia strains could be estimated at about 100 million years. The vanadium-dependent (Type 2) nitrogenase present in Azotobacter spp. appears to be a recent derivation from the conventional molybdenum-dependent (Type 1) enzyme, whereas the iron-dependent (Type 3) alternative nitrogenase would have a much older origin. PMID:2515293

  19. Transient responses of nitrogenase to acetylene and oxygen in actinorhizal nodules and cultured Frania

    SciTech Connect

    Silvester, W.B.; Winship, L.J. )

    1990-02-01

    Nitrogenase activity in root nodules of four species of actinorhizal plants showed varying declines in response to exposure to acetylene (10% v/v). Gymnostoma papuanum (S.Moore) L. Johnson. and Casuarina equisetifolia L. nodules showed a small decline (5-15%) with little or no recovery over 15 minutes. Myrica gale L. nodules showed a sharp decline followed by a rapid return to peak activity. Alnus incana ssp. rugosa (Du Roi) Clausen. nodules usually showed varying degrees of decline followed by a slower return to peak or near-peak activity. We call these effects acetylene-induced transients. Rapid increases in oxygen tension also caused dramatic transient decreases in nitrogenase activity in all species. The magnitude of the transient decrease was related to the size of the O{sub 2} partial pressure (pO{sub 2}) rise, to the proximity of the starting and ending oxygen tensions to the pO{sub 2} optimum, and to the time for which the plant was exposed to the lower pO{sub 2}. Oxygen-induced transients, induced both by step jumps in pO{sub 2} and by O{sub 2} pulses, were also observed in cultures of Frankia. The effects seen in nodules are purely a response by the bacterium and not a nodule effect per se. Oxygen-induced nitrogenase transients in actinorhizal nodules from the plant genera tested here do not appear to be a result of changes in nodule diffusion resistance.

  20. Inhibition of nitrogenase by oxygen in marine cyanobacteria controls the global nitrogen and oxygen cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berman-Frank, I.; Chen, Y.-B.; Gerchman, Y.; Dismukes, G. C.; Falkowski, P. G.

    2005-03-01

    Cyanobacterial N2-fixation supplies the vast majority of biologically accessible inorganic nitrogen to nutrient-poor aquatic ecosystems. The process, catalyzed by the heterodimeric protein complex, nitrogenase, is thought to predate that of oxygenic photosynthesis. Remarkably, while the enzyme plays such a critical role in Earth's biogeochemical cycles, the activity of nitrogenase in cyanobacteria is markedly inhibited in vivo at a post-translational level by the concentration of O2 in the contemporary atmosphere leading to metabolic and biogeochemical inefficiency in N2 fixation. We illustrate this crippling effect with data from Trichodesmium spp. an important contributor of "new nitrogen" to the world's subtropical and tropical oceans. The enzymatic inefficiency of nitrogenase imposes a major elemental taxation on diazotrophic cyanobacteria both in the costs of protein synthesis and for scarce trace elements, such as iron. This restriction has, in turn, led to a global limitation of fixed nitrogen in the contemporary oceans and provides a strong biological control on the upper bound of oxygen concentration in Earth's atmosphere.

  1. Cofactor Engineering for Enhancing the Flux of Metabolic Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Akhtar, M. Kalim; Jones, Patrik R.

    2014-01-01

    The manufacture of a diverse array of chemicals is now possible with biologically engineered strains, an approach that is greatly facilitated by the emergence of synthetic biology. This is principally achieved through pathway engineering in which enzyme activities are coordinated within a genetically amenable host to generate the product of interest. A great deal of attention is typically given to the quantitative levels of the enzymes with little regard to their overall qualitative states. This highly constrained approach fails to consider other factors that may be necessary for enzyme functionality. In particular, enzymes with physically bound cofactors, otherwise known as holoenzymes, require careful evaluation. Herein, we discuss the importance of cofactors for biocatalytic processes and show with empirical examples why the synthesis and integration of cofactors for the formation of holoenzymes warrant a great deal of attention within the context of pathway engineering. PMID:25221776

  2. Mechanism of nitrogenase switch-off by oxygen. [Klebsiella pneumoniae; Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides f. sp. denitrificans; Rhodopseudomonas capsulate

    SciTech Connect

    Goldberg, I.; Nadler, V.; Hochman, A.

    1987-02-01

    Oxygen caused a reversible inhibition (switch-off) of nitrogenase activity in whole cells of four strains of diazotrophs, the facultative anaerobe Klebsiella pneumoniae and three strains of photosynthetic bacteria (Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides f. sp. denitrificans and Rhodopseudomonas capsulata strians AD2 and BK5). In K. pneumoniae 50% inhibition of acetylene reduction was attained at an O/sub 2/ concentration of 0.37 ..mu..M. Cyanide (90 ..mu..M), which did not affect acetylene reduction but inhibited whole-cell respiration by 60 to 70%, shifted the O/sub 2/ concentration that caused 50% inhibition of nitrogenase activity to 2.9 ..mu..M. A mutant strain of K. pneumoniae, strain AH11, has a respiration rate that is 65 to 75% higher than that of the wild type, but is nitrogenase activity is similar to wild-type activity. Acetylene reduction by whole cells of this mutant was inhibited 50% by 0.20 ..mu..M O/sub 2/. Inhibition by CN/sup -/ of 40 to 50% of the O/sub 2/ uptake in the mutant shifted the O/sub 2/ concentration that caused 50% inhibition of nitrogenase to 1.58 ..mu..M. Thus, when the respiration rates were lower, higher oxygen concentrations were required to inhibit nitrogenase. Reversible inhibition of nitrogenase activity in vivo was caused under anaerobic conditions by other electron acceptors. Addition of 2 mM sulfite to cell suspensions of R. capsulata B10 and R. sphaeroides inhibited nitrogenase activity. Nitrite also inhibited acetylene reduction in whole cells of the photodenitrifier R. sphaeroides but not in R. capsulata B10, which is not capable of enzymatic reduction of NO/sub 2//sup -/. Lower concentrations of NO/sub 2//sup -/ were required to inhibit the activity in NO/sub 3//sup -/-grown cells, which have higher activities of nitrite reductase.

  3. Pterin chemistry and its relationship to the molybdenum cofactor

    PubMed Central

    Basu, Partha; Burgmayer, Sharon J.N.

    2011-01-01

    The molybdenum cofactor is composed of a molybdenum coordinated by one or two rather complicated ligands known as either molybdopterin or pyranopterin. Pterin is one of a large family of bicyclic N-heterocycles called pteridines. Such molecules are widely found in Nature, having various forms to perform a variety of biological functions. This article describes the basic nomenclature of pterin, their biological roles, structure, chemical synthesis and redox reactivity. In addition, the biosynthesis of pterins and current models of the molybdenum cofactor are discussed. PMID:21607119

  4. Structural Basis for Cofactor-Independent Dioxygenation in Vancomycin Biosynthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Widboom,P.; Fielding, E.; Liu, Y.; Bruner, S.

    2007-01-01

    Enzyme-catalyzed oxidations are some of the most common transformations in primary and secondary metabolism. The vancomycin biosynthetic enzyme DpgC belongs to a small class of oxygenation enzymes that are not dependent on an accessory cofactor or metal ion1. The detailed mechanism of cofactor-independent oxygenases has not been established. Here we report the first structure of an enzyme of this oxygenase class in complex with a bound substrate mimic. The use of a designed, synthetic substrate analogue allows unique insights into the chemistry of oxygen activation. The structure confirms the absence of cofactors, and electron density consistent with molecular oxygen is present adjacent to the site of oxidation on the substrate. Molecular oxygen is bound in a small hydrophobic pocket and the substrate provides the reducing power to activate oxygen for downstream chemical steps. Our results resolve the unique and complex chemistry of DpgC, a key enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of an important class of antibiotics. Furthermore, mechanistic parallels exist between DpgC and cofactor-dependent flavoenzymes, providing information regarding the general mechanism of enzymatic oxygen activation.

  5. Cofactor Trapping, a New Method To Produce Flavin Mononucleotide ▿

    PubMed Central

    Krauss, Ulrich; Svensson, Vera; Wirtz, Astrid; Knieps-Grünhagen, Esther; Jaeger, Karl-Erich

    2011-01-01

    We have purified flavin mononucleotide (FMN) from a flavoprotein-overexpressing Escherichia coli strain by cofactor trapping. This approach uses an overexpressed flavoprotein to trap FMN, which is thus removed from the cascade regulating FMN production in E. coli. This, in turn, allows the isolation of highly pure FMN. PMID:21131527

  6. Tunable low-field magnetoresistance in Sr2FeMoO6 ceramics using organic glycerin to modify grain boundaries and Fe/Mo ordering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, J.-F.; Zhang, J.; Hu, B.; Gu, Z.-B.; Zhang, S.-T.

    2014-11-01

    A simple and efficient post-treatment method has been developed to tune the low-field magnetoresistance (LFMR) of Sr2FeMoO6 (SFMO) ceramics. SFMO ceramics, with initial 10% Fe/Mo anitsite defects (ASD), were prepared and soaked in a glycerin/water mixture (v/v, 1/19) for 0-24 h at room temperature; such post-treatment leads to SrMoO4 precipitating, which affects both the grain boundary (GB) strength and the ASD content. By controlling the soaking time the negative effect of ASD and the positive effect of GB on LFMR can be controlled, thus the LFMR can be tuned. When the soaking time is no longer than 6 h, the precipitated SrMoO4 influences the effects of ASD negligibly, but greatly improves the effects of GB, with LFMR enhancements of ~2 times obtained. However, longer soaking times result in an abrupt increase in ASD content; its negative effect is dominant and can offset the increasingly positive effect of GB, so LFMR is suppressed. Our work may provide a new method of using organic materials to manipulate the transport properties of double perovskite ceramics.

  7. UV/V IS/NIR spectrum of β-carotene incorporated in lipid bilayers. FE-MO calculations and comparison with experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolev, V. D.

    1984-03-01

    When incorporated in the bilayers of lipid vesicles, β-carotene shows an additional absorption band at 520-540 nm which is not observed in non-polar solvents. A widely distributed opinion attributes the new band to aggregates of the pigment, but conclusive evidence for this suggestion has not been given. Since the spectral properties of carotenoids in biological and artificial membranes are essential for understanding their functions in photosynthesis, an attempt is undertaken in this paper to obtain theoretical expressions for the parameters of the π-electron transitions using the FE-MO model of the long conjugated chromophore axis of β-carotene. The calculated values of the characteristic wavelengths and oscillator strengths are in good agreement with experimental data. As a band at 535 nm presents in the theoretical spectrum, it is suggested another mechanism of the origin of the long-wavelength band, namely, well oriented β-carotene monomers interacting with the neighbouring lipid molecules in the bilayer.

  8. Multi-Omic Dynamics Associate Oxygenic Photosynthesis with Nitrogenase-Mediated H2 Production in Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142

    PubMed Central

    Bernstein, Hans C.; Charania, Moiz A.; McClure, Ryan S.; Sadler, Natalie C.; Melnicki, Matthew R.; Hill, Eric A.; Markillie, Lye Meng; Nicora, Carrie D.; Wright, Aaron T.; Romine, Margaret F.; Beliaev, Alexander S.

    2015-01-01

    To date, the proposed mechanisms of nitrogenase-driven photosynthetic H2 production by the diazotrophic unicellular cyanobacterium Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142 have assumed that reductant and ATP requirements are derived solely from glycogen oxidation and cyclic-electron flow around photosystem I. Through genome-scale transcript and protein profiling, this study presents and tests a new hypothesis on the metabolic relationship between oxygenic photosynthesis and nitrogenase-mediated H2 production in Cyanothece 51142. Our results show that net-positive rates of oxygenic photosynthesis and increased expression of photosystem II reaction centers correspond and are synchronized with nitrogenase expression and H2 production. These findings provide a new and more complete view on the metabolic processes contributing to the energy budget of photosynthetic H2 production and highlight the role of concurrent photocatalytic H2O oxidation as a participating process. PMID:26525576

  9. Effect of an ntrBC mutation on the posttranslational regulation of nitrogenase activity in Rhodospirillum rubrum.

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Y; Cummings, A D; Burris, R H; Ludden, P W; Roberts, G P

    1995-01-01

    Homologs of ntrB and ntrC genes from Rhodospirillum rubrum were cloned and sequenced. A mutant lacking ntrBC was constructed, and this mutant has normal nitrogenase activity under nif-derepressing conditions, indicating that ntrBC are not necessary for the expression of the nif genes in R. rubrum. However, the post-translational regulation of nitrogenase activity by ADP-ribosylation in response to NH4+ was partially abolished in this mutant. More surprisingly, the regulation of nitrogenase activity in response to darkness was also affected, suggesting a physiological link between the ntr system and energy signal transduction in R. rubrum. The expression of glutamine synthetase, as well as its posttranslational regulation, was also altered in this ntrBC mutant. PMID:7665521

  10. New nitrogen-fixing microorganisms detected in oligotrophic oceans by amplification of nitrogenase (nifH) genes

    SciTech Connect

    Zehr, J.P.; Mellon, M.T.; Zani, S.

    1998-09-01

    Oligotrophic oceanic waters of the central ocean gyres typically have extremely low dissolved fixed inorganic nitrogen concentrations, but few nitrogen-fixing microorganisms from the oceanic environment have been cultivated. Nitrogenase gene (nifH) sequences amplified directly from oceanic waters showed that the open ocean contains more diverse diazotrophic microbial populations and more diverse habitats for nitrogen fixers than previously observed by classical microbiological techniques. Nitrogenase genes derived from unicellular and filamentous cyanobacteria, as well as from the {alpha} and {gamma} subdivisions of the class Proteobacteria, were found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. nifH sequences that cluster phylogenetically with sequences from sulfate reducers or clostridia were found associated with planktonic crustaceans. Nitrogenase sequence types obtained from invertebrates represented phylotypes distinct from the phylotypes detected in the picoplankton size fraction. The results indicate that there are in the oceanic environment several distinct potentially nitrogen-fixing microbial assemblages that include representatives of diverse phylotypes.

  11. Turnover-Dependent Inactivation of the Nitrogenase MoFe-Protein at High pH

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Proton uptake accompanies the reduction of all known substrates by nitrogenase. As a consequence, a higher pH should limit the availability of protons as a substrate essential for turnover, thereby increasing the proportion of more highly reduced forms of the enzyme for further study. The utility of the high-pH approach would appear to be problematic in view of the observation reported by Pham and Burgess [(1993) Biochemistry 32, 13725–13731] that the MoFe-protein undergoes irreversible protein denaturation above pH 8.65. In contrast, we found by both enzyme activity and crystallographic analyses that the MoFe-protein is stable when incubated at pH 9.5. We did observe, however, that at higher pHs and under turnover conditions, the MoFe-protein is slowly inactivated. While a normal, albeit low, level of substrate reduction occurs under these conditions, the MoFe-protein undergoes a complex transformation; initially, the enzyme is reversibly inhibited for substrate reduction at pH 9.5, yet in a second, slower process, the MoFe-protein becomes irreversibly inactivated as measured by substrate reduction activity at the optimal pH of 7.8. The final inactivated MoFe-protein has an increased hydrodynamic radius compared to that of the native MoFe-protein, yet it has a full complement of iron and molybdenum. Significantly, the modified MoFe-protein retains the ability to specifically interact with its nitrogenase partner, the Fe-protein, as judged by the support of ATP hydrolysis and by formation of a tight complex with the Fe-protein in the presence of ATP and aluminum fluoride. The turnover-dependent inactivation coupled to conformational change suggests a mechanism-based transformation that may provide a new probe of nitrogenase catalysis. PMID:24392967

  12. Effect of sulphur dioxide exposure on chlorophyll content and nitrogenase activity of Vicia faba L. plants

    SciTech Connect

    Agrawal, S.B.; Agrawal, M. )

    1991-11-01

    The annual average concentrations of SO{sub 2} around Obra thermal power plant and nonpolluted sites in India were reported as 0.06, and 0.007 ppm, respectively. However, daily average concentrations in areas close to the emission source may be as large as 0.34 ppm. Therefore, in the present investigation an attempt has been made to determine the potential effects of such episodic and exceptionally high intermittent concentrations of SO{sub 2} on total chlorophyll content and nitrogenase activity of Vicia faba (broad bean) plants.

  13. Citrate substitutes for homocitrate in nitrogenase of a nifV mutant of Klebsiella pneumoniae

    SciTech Connect

    Liang, Jihong; Madden, M.; Shah, V.K.; Burris, R.H. )

    1990-09-18

    An organic acid extracted from purified dinitrogenase isolated from a nifV mutant of Klebsiella pneumoniae has been identified as citric acid. H{sub 2} evolution by the citrate-containing dinitrogenase is partially inhibited by CO, and by some substrates for nitrogenase. The response of maximum velocities to changes in pH for both the wild-type and the NifV{sup {minus}} dinitrogenase was compared. No substantial differences between the enzymes were observed, but there are minor differences. Both enzymes are stable in the pH range 4.8-10, but the enzyme activities dropped dramatically below pH 6.2.

  14. New artificial fluoro-cofactor of hydride transfer with novel fluorescence assay for redox biocatalysis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Yuan, Jun; Xu, Yufang; Zhang, Y-H Percival; Qian, Xuhong

    2016-05-11

    A new artificial fluoro-cofactor was developed for the replacement of natural cofactors NAD(P), exhibiting a high hydride transfer ability. More importantly, we established a new and fast screening method for the evaluation of the properties of artificial cofactors based on the fluorescence assay and visible color change. PMID:27100122

  15. Remaining challenges in cellular flavin cofactor homeostasis and flavoprotein biogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giancaspero, Teresa Anna; Colella, Matilde; Brizio, Carmen; Difonzo, Graziana; Fiorino, Giuseppina Maria; Leone, Piero; Brandsch, Roderich; Bonomi, Francesco; Iametti, Stefania; Barile, Maria

    2015-04-01

    The primary role of the water-soluble vitamin B2 (riboflavin) in cell biology is connected with its conversion into FMN and FAD, the cofactors of a large number of dehydrogenases, oxidases and reductases involved in energetic metabolism, epigenetics, protein folding, as well as in a number of diverse regulatory processes. The problem of localisation of flavin cofactor synthesis events and in particular of the FAD synthase (EC 2.7.7.2) in HepG2 cells is addressed here by confocal microscopy in the frame of its relationships with kinetics of FAD synthesis and delivery to client apo-flavoproteins. FAD synthesis catalysed by recombinant isoform 2 of FADS occurs via an ordered bi-bi mechanism in which ATP binds prior to FMN, and pyrophosphate is released before FAD. Spectrophotometric continuous assays of the reconstitution rate of apo-D-aminoacid oxidase with its cofactor, allowed us to propose that besides its FAD synthesising activity, hFADS is able to operate as a FAD "chaperone". The physical interaction between FAD forming enzyme and its clients was further confirmed by dot blot and immunoprecipitation experiments carried out testing as a client either a nuclear or a mitochondrial enzyme that is lysine specific demethylase 1 (LSD1, EC 1.-.-.-) and dimethylglycine dehydrogenase (Me2GlyDH, EC 1.5.8.4), respectively which carry out similar reactions of oxidative demethylation, assisted by tetrahydrofolate used to form 5,10-methylene-tetrahydrofolate. A direct transfer of the cofactor from hFADS2 to apo-dimethyl glycine dehydrogenase was also demonstrated. Thus, FAD synthesis and delivery to these enzymes are crucial processes for bioenergetics and nutri-epigenetics of liver cells.

  16. Nicotinamide Cofactors Suppress Active-Site Labeling of Aldehyde Dehydrogenases.

    PubMed

    Stiti, Naim; Chandrasekar, Balakumaran; Strubl, Laura; Mohammed, Shabaz; Bartels, Dorothea; van der Hoorn, Renier A L

    2016-06-17

    Active site labeling by (re)activity-based probes is a powerful chemical proteomic tool to globally map active sites in native proteomes without using substrates. Active site labeling is usually taken as a readout for the active state of the enzyme because labeling reflects the availability and reactivity of active sites, which are hallmarks for enzyme activities. Here, we show that this relationship holds tightly, but we also reveal an important exception to this rule. Labeling of Arabidopsis ALDH3H1 with a chloroacetamide probe occurs at the catalytic Cys, and labeling is suppressed upon nitrosylation and oxidation, and upon treatment with other Cys modifiers. These experiments display a consistent and strong correlation between active site labeling and enzymatic activity. Surprisingly, however, labeling is suppressed by the cofactor NAD(+), and this property is shared with other members of the ALDH superfamily and also detected for unrelated GAPDH enzymes with an unrelated hydantoin-based probe in crude extracts of plant cell cultures. Suppression requires cofactor binding to its binding pocket. Labeling is also suppressed by ALDH modulators that bind at the substrate entrance tunnel, confirming that labeling occurs through the substrate-binding cavity. Our data indicate that cofactor binding adjusts the catalytic Cys into a conformation that reduces the reactivity toward chloroacetamide probes. PMID:26990764

  17. MYC Cofactors: Molecular Switches Controlling Diverse Biological Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Hann, Stephen R.

    2014-01-01

    The transcription factor MYC has fundamental roles in proliferation, apoptosis, tumorigenesis, and stem cell pluripotency. Over the last 30 years extensive information has been gathered on the numerous cofactors that interact with MYC and the target genes that are regulated by MYC as a means of understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling its diverse roles. Despite significant advances and perhaps because the amount of information learned about MYC is overwhelming, there has been little consensus on the molecular functions of MYC that mediate its critical biological roles. In this perspective, the major MYC cofactors that regulate the various transcriptional activities of MYC, including canonical and noncanonical transactivation and transcriptional repression, will be reviewed and a model of how these transcriptional mechanisms control MYC-mediated proliferation, apoptosis, and tumorigenesis will be presented. The basis of the model is that a variety of cofactors form dynamic MYC transcriptional complexes that can switch the molecular and biological functions of MYC to yield a diverse range of outcomes in a cell-type- and context-dependent fashion. PMID:24939054

  18. Efficiently Communicating Rich Heterogeneous Geospatial Data from the FeMO2008 Dive Cruise with FlashMap on EarthRef.org

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minnett, R. C.; Koppers, A. A.; Staudigel, D.; Staudigel, H.

    2008-12-01

    the web without losing scalability and control of the base maps. Our Flash-based application is fully compatible with KML (Keyhole Markup Language) 2.2, the most recent iteration of KML, allowing users with existing Google Earth KML files to effortlessly display their geospatial content embedded in a web page. As a test case for FlashMap, the annual Iron-Oxidizing Microbial Observatory (FeMO) dive cruise to the Loihi Seamount, in conjunction with data available from ongoing and published FeMO laboratory studies, showcases the flexibility of this single web-based application. With a KML 2.2 compatible web-service providing the content, any database can display results in FlashMap. The user can then hide and show multiple layers of content, potentially from several data sources, and rapidly digest a vast quantity of information to narrow the search results. This flexibility gives experienced users the ability to drill down to exactly the record they are looking for (SERC at Carleton College's educational application of FlashMap at http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/erese/activities/22223.html) and allows users familiar with Google Earth the ability to load and view geospatial data content within a browser from any computer with an internet connection.

  19. Early evolution of photosynthesis: Clues from nitrogenase and chlorophyll iron proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Burke, D.H.; Hearst, J.E.; Sidow, A. )

    1993-08-01

    Chlorophyll (Chl) is often viewed as having preceded bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) as the primary photoreceptor pigment in early photosynthetic systems because synthesis of Chl requires one fewer enzymatic reduction than does synthesis of BChl. The authors have conducted statistical DNA sequence analyses of the two reductases involved in Chl and BChl synthesis, protochlorophyllide reductase and chlorin reductase. Both are three-subunit enzymes in which each subunit from one reductase shares significant amino acid identity with a subunit of the other, indicating that the two enzymes are derived from a common three-subunit ancestral reductase. The [open quotes]chlorophyll iron protein[close quotes] subunits, encoded by the bchL and bchX genes in the purple bacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus, also share amino acid sequence identity with the nitrogenase iron protein, encoded by nifH. When nitrogenase iron proteins are used as outgroups, the chlorophyll iron protein tree is rooted on the chlorin reductase lineage. This rooting suggests that the last common ancestor of all extant photosynthetic eubacteria contained BChl, not Chl, in its reaction center, and implies that Chl-containing reaction centers were a late invention unique to the cyanobacteria/chloroplast lineage. 48 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  20. Metabolic Pathways for Photobiological Hydrogen Production by Nitrogenase- and Hydrogenase-containing Unicellular Cyanobacteria Cyanothece*

    PubMed Central

    Skizim, Nicholas J.; Ananyev, Gennady M.; Krishnan, Anagha; Dismukes, G. Charles

    2012-01-01

    Current biotechnological interest in nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria stems from their robust respiration and capacity to produce hydrogen. Here we quantify both dark- and light-induced H2 effluxes by Cyanothece sp. Miami BG 043511 and establish their respective origins. Dark, anoxic H2 production occurs via hydrogenase utilizing reductant from glycolytic catabolism of carbohydrates (autofermentation). Photo-H2 is shown to occur via nitrogenase and requires illumination of PSI, whereas production of O2 by co-illumination of PSII is inhibitory to nitrogenase above a threshold pO2. Carbohydrate also serves as the major source of reductant for the PSI pathway mediated via nonphotochemical reduction of the plastoquinone pool by NADH dehydrogenases type-1 and type-2 (NDH-1 and NDH-2). Redirection of this reductant flux exclusively through the proton-coupled NDH-1 by inhibition of NDH-2 with flavone increases the photo-H2 production rate by 2-fold (at the expense of the dark-H2 rate), due to production of additional ATP (via the proton gradient). Comparison of photobiological hydrogen rates, yields, and energy conversion efficiencies reveals opportunities for improvement. PMID:22128188

  1. Surface disturbance of cryptobiotic soil crusts: nitrogenase activity, chlorophyll content, and chlorophyll degradation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne; Harper, Kimball T.; Warren, Steven D.

    1994-01-01

    Cryptobiotic soil crusts are an important component of semiarid and arid ecosystems. An important role of these crusts is the contribution of fixed nitrogen to cold‐desert ecosystems. This study examines the residual effects of various intensities and combinations of different surface disturbances (raking, scalping, and tracked vehicles) on nitrogenase activity, chlorophyll content, and chlorophyll degradation in these soil crusts. Nine months after disturbance chlorophyll content of disturbed soils was not statistically different from undisturbed controls, except in the scalped treatments, indicating recovery of this characteristic is fairly quick unless surface material is removed. Differences in chlorophyll degradation among treatments were not statistically significant. However, nitrogenase activity in all treatments showed tremendous reductions, ranging from 77–97%, when compared to the control, indicating this characteristic is slow to recover. Consequently, assessment of crustal recovery from disturbance must include not only visual and biomass characteristics but other physiological measurements as well. Areas dominated by these crusts should be managed conservatively until the implications of crustal disturbance is better understood.

  2. Constraints on texture zero and cofactor zero models for neutrino mass

    SciTech Connect

    Whisnant, K.; Liao, Jiajun; Marfatia, D.

    2014-06-24

    Imposing a texture or cofactor zero on the neutrino mass matrix reduces the number of independent parameters from nine to seven. Since five parameters have been measured, only two independent parameters would remain in such models. We find the allowed regions for single texture zero and single cofactor zero models. We also find strong similarities between single texture zero models with one mass hierarchy and single cofactor zero models with the opposite mass hierarchy. We show that this correspondence can be generalized to texture-zero and cofactor-zero models with the same homogeneous costraints on the elements and cofactors.

  3. Nitrogenase activity in cyanobacteria measured by the acetylene reduction assay: a comparison between batch incubation and on-line monitoring.

    PubMed

    Staal, M; Lintel-Hekkert, S T; Harren, F; Stal, L

    2001-05-01

    A new on-line method for measuring acetylene reduction is described. It consists of a gas-flow cell connected to an electronic gas-mixing system and an automatic sample loop in the gas chromatograph. Alternatively, ethylene can be determined by using laser-based trace gas detection. The laser-based trace gas detection technique achieves a detection limit that is three orders of magnitude better than gas chromatography. We have applied the on-line method to the measurement of nitrogen fixation in a culture of the heterocystous cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena and compared it with conventional batch-type incubations. Incubation of N. spumigena in the gas-flow cell resulted in very short response times with a steady-state flux of ethylene obtained within 2 min. Nitrogenase was shown to respond immediately to changes in light and oxygen. Monitoring of nitrogenase activity could be continued for several hours without having a negative impact on nitrogen fixation rates in N. spumigena. This was not the case in batch incubations, in which changes in nitrogenase activities were recorded during incubations, probably as a result of varying oxygen concentrations. It was therefore concluded that the on-line method is superior to batch incubations when rates of nitrogenase activity are to be measured. The method is suitable for natural samples (water or sediment). PMID:11422321

  4. Effects of carbohydrate on the internal oxygen concentration, oxygen uptake, and nitrogenase activity in detached pea nodules

    SciTech Connect

    Monroe, J.D. ); LaRue, T.A. )

    1989-10-01

    The interaction between carbon substrates and O{sub 2} and their effects on nitrogenase activity (C{sub 2}H{sub 2}) were examined in detached nodules of pea (Pisum sativum L. cv Sparkle). The internal O{sub 2} concentration was estimated from the fractional oxygenation of leghemoglobin measured by reflectance spectroscopy. Lowering the endogenous carbohydrate content of nodules by excising the shoots 16 hours before nodule harvest or by incubating detached nodules at 100 kPa O{sub 2} for 2 hours resulted in a 2- to 10-fold increase in internal O{sub 2}, and a decline in nitrogenase activity. Conversely, when detached nodules were supplied with 100 millimolar succinate, the internal O{sub 2} was lowered. Nitrogenase activity was stimulated by succinate but only at high external O{sub 2}. Oxygen uptake increased linearly with external O{sub 2} but was affected only slightly by the carbon treatments. The apparent diffusion resistance in the nodule cortex was similar in all of the treatments. Carbon substrates can thus affect nitrogenase activity indirectly by affecting the O{sub 2} concentration within detached nodules.

  5. Glycolytic Flux Is Adjusted to Nitrogenase Activity in Nodules of Detopped and Argon-Treated Alfalfa Plants1

    PubMed Central

    Curioni, Paola M.G.; Hartwig, Ueli A.; Nösberger, Josef; Schuller, Kathryn A.

    1999-01-01

    To investigate the short-term (30–240 min) interactions among nitrogenase activity, NH4+ assimilation, and plant glycolysis, we measured the concentrations of selected C and N metabolites in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) root nodules after detopping and during continuous exposure of the nodulated roots to Ar:O2 (80:20, v/v). Both treatments caused an increase in the ratios of glucose-6-phosphate to fructose-1,6-bisphosphate, fructose-6-phosphate to fructose-1,6-bisphosphate, phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) to pyruvate, and PEP to malate. This suggested that glycolytic flux was inhibited at the steps catalyzed by phosphofructokinase, pyruvate kinase, and PEP carboxylase. In the Ar:O2-treated plants the apparent inhibition of glycolytic flux was reversible, whereas in the detopped plants it was not. In both groups of plants the apparent inhibition of glycolytic flux was delayed relative to the decline in nitrogenase activity. The decline in nitrogenase activity was followed by a dramatic increase in the nodular glutamate to glutamine ratio. In the detopped plants this was coincident with the apparent inhibition of glycolytic flux, whereas in the Ar:O2-treated plants it preceded the apparent inhibition of glycolytic flux. We propose that the increase in the nodular glutamate to glutamine ratio, which occurs as a result of the decline in nitrogenase activity, may act as a signal to decrease plant glycolytic flux in legume root nodules. PMID:9952439

  6. Proteome Profiling of the Rhodobacter capsulatus Molybdenum Response Reveals a Role of IscN in Nitrogen Fixation by Fe-Nitrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmann, Marie-Christine; Wagner, Eva; Langklotz, Sina; Pfänder, Yvonne; Hött, Sina; Bandow, Julia E.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Rhodobacter capsulatus is capable of synthesizing two nitrogenases, a molybdenum-dependent nitrogenase and an alternative Mo-free iron-only nitrogenase, enabling this diazotroph to grow with molecular dinitrogen (N2) as the sole nitrogen source. Here, the Mo responses of the wild type and of a mutant lacking ModABC, the high-affinity molybdate transporter, were examined by proteome profiling, Western analysis, epitope tagging, and lacZ reporter fusions. Many Mo-controlled proteins identified in this study have documented or presumed roles in nitrogen fixation, demonstrating the relevance of Mo control in this highly ATP-demanding process. The levels of Mo-nitrogenase, NifHDK, and the Mo storage protein, Mop, increased with increasing Mo concentrations. In contrast, Fe-nitrogenase, AnfHDGK, and ModABC, the Mo transporter, were expressed only under Mo-limiting conditions. IscN was identified as a novel Mo-repressed protein. Mo control of Mop, AnfHDGK, and ModABC corresponded to transcriptional regulation of their genes by the Mo-responsive regulators MopA and MopB. Mo control of NifHDK and IscN appeared to be more complex, involving different posttranscriptional mechanisms. In line with the simultaneous control of IscN and Fe-nitrogenase by Mo, IscN was found to be important for Fe-nitrogenase-dependent diazotrophic growth. The possible role of IscN as an A-type carrier providing Fe-nitrogenase with Fe-S clusters is discussed. IMPORTANCE Biological nitrogen fixation is a central process in the global nitrogen cycle by which the abundant but chemically inert dinitrogen (N2) is reduced to ammonia (NH3), a bioavailable form of nitrogen. Nitrogen reduction is catalyzed by nitrogenases found in diazotrophic bacteria and archaea but not in eukaryotes. All diazotrophs synthesize molybdenum-dependent nitrogenases. In addition, some diazotrophs, including Rhodobacter capsulatus, possess catalytically less efficient alternative Mo-free nitrogenases, whose expression

  7. Remaining challenges in cellular flavin cofactor homeostasis and flavoprotein biogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Giancaspero, Teresa A.; Colella, Matilde; Brizio, Carmen; Difonzo, Graziana; Fiorino, Giuseppina M.; Leone, Piero; Brandsch, Roderich; Bonomi, Francesco; Iametti, Stefania; Barile, Maria

    2015-01-01

    The primary role of the water-soluble vitamin B2 (riboflavin) in cell biology is connected with its conversion into FMN and FAD, the cofactors of a large number of dehydrogenases, oxidases and reductases involved in a broad spectrum of biological activities, among which energetic metabolism and chromatin remodeling. Subcellular localisation of FAD synthase (EC 2.7.7.2, FADS), the second enzyme in the FAD forming pathway, is addressed here in HepG2 cells by confocal microscopy, in the frame of its relationships with kinetics of FAD synthesis and delivery to client apo-flavoproteins. FAD synthesis catalyzed by recombinant isoform 2 of FADS occurs via an ordered bi-bi mechanism in which ATP binds prior to FMN, and pyrophosphate is released before FAD. Spectrophotometric continuous assays of the reconstitution rate of apo-D-aminoacid oxidase with its cofactor, allowed us to propose that besides its FAD synthesizing activity, hFADS is able to operate as a FAD “chaperone.” The physical interaction between FAD forming enzyme and its clients was further confirmed by dot blot and immunoprecipitation experiments carried out testing as a client either a nuclear lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) or a mitochondrial dimethylglycine dehydrogenase (Me2GlyDH, EC 1.5.8.4). Both enzymes carry out similar reactions of oxidative demethylation, in which tetrahydrofolate is converted into 5,10-methylene-tetrahydrofolate. A direct transfer of the cofactor from hFADS2 to apo-dimethyl glycine dehydrogenase was also demonstrated. Thus, FAD synthesis and delivery to these enzymes are crucial processes for bioenergetics and nutri-epigenetics of liver cells. PMID:25954742

  8. Remaining challenges in cellular flavin cofactor homeostasis and flavoprotein biogenesis.

    PubMed

    Giancaspero, Teresa A; Colella, Matilde; Brizio, Carmen; Difonzo, Graziana; Fiorino, Giuseppina M; Leone, Piero; Brandsch, Roderich; Bonomi, Francesco; Iametti, Stefania; Barile, Maria

    2015-01-01

    The primary role of the water-soluble vitamin B2 (riboflavin) in cell biology is connected with its conversion into FMN and FAD, the cofactors of a large number of dehydrogenases, oxidases and reductases involved in a broad spectrum of biological activities, among which energetic metabolism and chromatin remodeling. Subcellular localisation of FAD synthase (EC 2.7.7.2, FADS), the second enzyme in the FAD forming pathway, is addressed here in HepG2 cells by confocal microscopy, in the frame of its relationships with kinetics of FAD synthesis and delivery to client apo-flavoproteins. FAD synthesis catalyzed by recombinant isoform 2 of FADS occurs via an ordered bi-bi mechanism in which ATP binds prior to FMN, and pyrophosphate is released before FAD. Spectrophotometric continuous assays of the reconstitution rate of apo-D-aminoacid oxidase with its cofactor, allowed us to propose that besides its FAD synthesizing activity, hFADS is able to operate as a FAD "chaperone." The physical interaction between FAD forming enzyme and its clients was further confirmed by dot blot and immunoprecipitation experiments carried out testing as a client either a nuclear lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) or a mitochondrial dimethylglycine dehydrogenase (Me2GlyDH, EC 1.5.8.4). Both enzymes carry out similar reactions of oxidative demethylation, in which tetrahydrofolate is converted into 5,10-methylene-tetrahydrofolate. A direct transfer of the cofactor from hFADS2 to apo-dimethyl glycine dehydrogenase was also demonstrated. Thus, FAD synthesis and delivery to these enzymes are crucial processes for bioenergetics and nutri-epigenetics of liver cells. PMID:25954742

  9. Design of dinuclear manganese cofactors for bacterial reaction centers.

    PubMed

    Olson, Tien L; Espiritu, Eduardo; Edwardraja, Selvakumar; Simmons, Chad R; Williams, JoAnn C; Ghirlanda, Giovanna; Allen, James P

    2016-05-01

    A compelling target for the design of electron transfer proteins with novel cofactors is to create a model for the oxygen-evolving complex, a Mn4Ca cluster, of photosystem II. A mononuclear Mn cofactor can be added to the bacterial reaction center, but the addition of multiple metal centers is constrained by the native protein architecture. Alternatively, metal centers can be incorporated into artificial proteins. Designs for the addition of dinuclear metal centers to four-helix bundles resulted in three artificial proteins with ligands for one, two, or three dinuclear metal centers able to bind Mn. The three-dimensional structure determined by X-ray crystallography of one of the Mn-proteins confirmed the design features and revealed details concerning coordination of the Mn center. Electron transfer between these artificial Mn-proteins and bacterial reaction centers was investigated using optical spectroscopy. After formation of a light-induced, charge-separated state, the experiments showed that the Mn-proteins can donate an electron to the oxidized bacteriochlorophyll dimer of modified reaction centers, with the Mn-proteins having additional metal centers being more effective at this electron transfer reaction. Modeling of the structure of the Mn-protein docked to the reaction center showed that the artificial protein likely binds on the periplasmic surface similarly to cytochrome c2, the natural secondary donor. Combining reaction centers with exogenous artificial proteins provides the opportunity to create ligands and investigate the influence of inhomogeneous protein environments on multinuclear redox-active metal centers. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Biodesign for Bioenergetics - the design and engineering of electronic transfer cofactors, proteins and protein networks, edited by Ronald L. Koder and J.L. Ross Anderson. PMID:26392146

  10. Effect of Aptamer Binding on the Electron-Transfer Properties of Redox Cofactors.

    PubMed

    Emahi, Ismaila; Gruenke, Paige R; Baum, Dana A

    2015-12-01

    In vitro selection or SELEX has allowed for the identification of functional nucleic acids (FNAs) that can potentially mimic and replace protein enzymes. These FNAs likely interact with cofactors, just like enzymes bind cofactors in their active sites. Investigating how FNA binding affects cofactor properties is important for understanding how an active site is formed and for developing useful enzyme mimics. Oxidoreductase enzymes contain cofactors in their active sites that allow the enzymes to do redox chemistry. In certain applications, these redox cofactors act as electron-transfer shuttles that transport electrons between the enzymes' active sites and electrode surfaces. Three redox cofactors commonly found in oxidoreductases are flavin adenine dinucleotide, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)), and pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ). We are interested in investigating how DNA aptamers that bind these cofactors influence the cofactors' redox abilities and if these aptamer-cofactor complexes could serve as redox catalysts. We employed cyclic voltammetry and amperometry to study the electrochemical properties of NAD(+) and PQQ when bound to DNA aptamers. Our results suggest that the aptamers provide a stable environment for the cofactor to participate in redox reactions, although enhanced redox activity was not observed. This work provides a foundation for the development of new FNAs capable of redox activity. PMID:26498628

  11. Amplicon restriction patterns associated with nitrogenase activity of root nodules for selection of superior Myrica seedlings.

    PubMed

    Yanthan, Mhathung; Misra, Arvind K

    2013-11-01

    Trees of Myrica sp. grow abundantly in the forests of Meghalaya, India. These trees are actinorhizal and harbour nitrogen-fixing Frankia in their root nodules and contribute positively towards the enhancement of nitrogen status of forest areas. They can be used in rejuvenation of mine spoils and nitrogen-depleted fallow lands generated due to slash and burn agriculture practiced in the area. We have studied the association of amplicon restriction patterns (ARPs) of Myrica ribosomal RNA gene and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and nitrogenase activity of its root nodules. We found that ARPs thus obtained could be used as markers for early screening of seedlings that could support strains of Frankia that fix atmospheric nitrogen more efficiently. PMID:24287658

  12. Oxygen protection of nitrogenase in Frankia sp. HFPArI3.

    PubMed

    Murry, M A; Fontaine, M S; Tjepkema, J D

    1984-10-01

    O2 protection of nitrogenase in a cultured Frankia isolate from Alnus rubra (HFPArI3) was studied in vivo. Evidence for a passive gas diffusion barrier in the vesicles was obtained by kinetic analysis of in vivo O2 uptake and acetylene reduction rates in response to substrate concentration. O2 of NH4+-grown cells showed an apparent KmO2 of approximately 1 microM O2. In N2-fixing cultures a second Km O2 of about 215 microM O2 was observed. Thus, respiration remained unsaturated by O2 at air-saturation levels. In vivo, the apparent Km for acetylene was more than 10-fold greater than reported in vitro values. These data were interpreted as evidence for a gas diffusion barrier in the vesicles but not vegetative filaments of Frankia sp. HFPArI3. PMID:6595968

  13. Characterization of transcripts expressed from nitrogenase-3 structural genes of Azotobacter vinelandii.

    PubMed

    Premakumar, R; Jacobson, M R; Loveless, T M; Bishop, P E

    1992-09-01

    Five major anfH-hybridizing mRNA species accumulated in Azobacter vinelandii cells derepressed for nitrogenase-3 (an alternative nitrogenase, which appears to lack Mo and V). Using anfH-, anfD-, anfG-, anfK-, and orflorf2-specific probes and mutant strains of A. vinelandii these mRNA species have been identified as encoding anfHDGKorflorf2 (6.0 kb), anfHDGK (4.3 kb), anfHD (2.6 kb), vnfHorfFd (1.3 kb), and vnfH and (or) anfH (1.0 kb). A 0.6-kb mRNA species, which hybridized only to the orflorf2-specific probe, and a 3.5-kb mRNA species, which hybridized to anfD or anfK, also accumulated under these conditions. Northern blot analysis and S1 nuclease mapping indicate that transcription of the anf structural gene cluster initiates at a unique nif consensus promoter situated 127 base pairs upstream from the anfH coding region. Observation of anfH-hybridizing mRNA species that accumulate in strains derepressed for nitrogen fixation demonstrates that transcription of the anfHDGKorflorf2 cluster is normally repressed by Mo, V, and NH4+, whereas transcription of the vnfHorfFd cluster does not require the presence of V and is repressed only by Mo, but not NH4+. Analysis of the accumulation of mRNAs in a tungsten-tolerant strain revealed that Mo and V repression of anf transcription must occur by different mechanisms. PMID:1281443

  14. Nitrogenase diversity and activity in the gastrointestinal tract of the wood-eating catfish Panaque nigrolineatus.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Ryan; Zhang, Fan; Watts, Joy E M; Schreier, Harold J

    2015-12-01

    The Amazonian catfish, Panaque nigrolineatus, consume large amounts of wood in their diets. The nitrogen-fixing community within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of these catfish was found to include nifH phylotypes that are closely related to Clostridium sp., Alpha and Gammaproteobacteria, and sequences associated with GI tracts of lower termites. Fish fed a diet of sterilized palm wood were found to contain nifH messenger RNA within their GI tracts, displaying high sequence similarity to the nitrogen-fixing Bradyrhizobium group. Nitrogenase activity, measured by acetylene reduction assays, could be detected in freshly dissected GI tract material and also from anaerobic enrichment cultures propagated in nitrogen-free enrichment media; nifH sequences retrieved from these cultures were dominated by Klebsiella- and Clostridium-like sequences. Microscopic examination using catalyzed reporter deposition-enhanced immunofluorescence revealed high densities of nitrogenase-containing cells colonizing the woody digesta within the GI tract, as well as cells residing within the intestinal mucous layer. Our findings suggest that the P. nigrolineatus GI tract provides a suitable environment for nitrogen fixation that may facilitate production of reduced nitrogen by the resident microbial population under nitrogen limiting conditions. Whether this community is providing reduced nitrogen to the host in an active or passive manner and whether it is present in a permanent or transient relationship remains to be determined. The intake of a cellulose rich diet and the presence of a suitable environment for nitrogen fixation suggest that the GI tract microbial community may allow a unique trophic niche for P. nigrolineatus among fish. PMID:25909976

  15. Nitrogenase Activity Is Affected by Reduced Partial Pressures of N2 and NO3- 1.

    PubMed Central

    Blumenthal, J. M.; Russelle, M. P.; Vance, C. P.

    1997-01-01

    Optimal use of legumes in cropping systems requires a thorough understanding of the interaction between inorganic N nutrition and symbiotic N2 fixation. Our objective was to test the hypothesis that increased NO3- uptake by alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) would compensate for lower N2 fixation caused by low partial pressure of N2. Root systems of hydroponically grown alfalfa at 2 mg L-1 NO3--N were exposed to (a) 80% N2, (b) 7% N2, (c) 2% N2, or (d) 0% N2. Exposure to reduced partial pressures of N2 reduced total nitrogenase activity (TNA, measured as H2 production in 20% O2 and 80% Ar) by 40% within less than 30 min, followed by a recovery period over the next 30 min to initial activity. Five hours after treatments began, the TNA of plants exposed to 7 and 2% N2 was substantially higher than pretreatment activities, whereas the TNA of plants exposed either to 0 or 80% N2 did not differ from pretreatment values. The decline in TNA due to NO3- exposure over 4 d was not affected by reduced partial pressure of N2. During the 1st h the proportion of electrons used for the reduction of N2 fell from 0.52 to 0.23 for plants exposed to 7% N2, and to 0.09 for plants exposed to 2% N2, and remained unchanged for the rest of the experiment. Although the hypothesis that alfalfa compensated with increased NO3- uptake for lower N2 fixation was not validated by our results, we unexpectedly demonstrated that the decline in TNA upon exposure to NO3- was independent of the N2-fixing efficiency (i.e. the amount of N2 reduced by nitrogenase) of the symbiosis. PMID:12223779

  16. Nitrogenase diversity and activity in the gastrointestinal tract of the wood-eating catfish Panaque nigrolineatus

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Ryan; Zhang, Fan; Watts, Joy E M; Schreier, Harold J

    2015-01-01

    The Amazonian catfish, Panaque nigrolineatus, consume large amounts of wood in their diets. The nitrogen-fixing community within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of these catfish was found to include nifH phylotypes that are closely related to Clostridium sp., Alpha and Gammaproteobacteria, and sequences associated with GI tracts of lower termites. Fish fed a diet of sterilized palm wood were found to contain nifH messenger RNA within their GI tracts, displaying high sequence similarity to the nitrogen-fixing Bradyrhizobium group. Nitrogenase activity, measured by acetylene reduction assays, could be detected in freshly dissected GI tract material and also from anaerobic enrichment cultures propagated in nitrogen-free enrichment media; nifH sequences retrieved from these cultures were dominated by Klebsiella- and Clostridium-like sequences. Microscopic examination using catalyzed reporter deposition-enhanced immunofluorescence revealed high densities of nitrogenase-containing cells colonizing the woody digesta within the GI tract, as well as cells residing within the intestinal mucous layer. Our findings suggest that the P. nigrolineatus GI tract provides a suitable environment for nitrogen fixation that may facilitate production of reduced nitrogen by the resident microbial population under nitrogen limiting conditions. Whether this community is providing reduced nitrogen to the host in an active or passive manner and whether it is present in a permanent or transient relationship remains to be determined. The intake of a cellulose rich diet and the presence of a suitable environment for nitrogen fixation suggest that the GI tract microbial community may allow a unique trophic niche for P. nigrolineatus among fish. PMID:25909976

  17. Nitrogenase-mimic iron-containing chalcogels for photochemical reduction of dinitrogen to ammonia.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jian; Kelley, Matthew S; Wu, Weiqiang; Banerjee, Abhishek; Douvalis, Alexios P; Wu, Jinsong; Zhang, Yongbo; Schatz, George C; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G

    2016-05-17

    A nitrogenase-inspired biomimetic chalcogel system comprising double-cubane [Mo2Fe6S8(SPh)3] and single-cubane (Fe4S4) biomimetic clusters demonstrates photocatalytic N2 fixation and conversion to NH3 in ambient temperature and pressure conditions. Replacing the Fe4S4 clusters in this system with other inert ions such as Sb(3+), Sn(4+), Zn(2+) also gave chalcogels that were photocatalytically active. Finally, molybdenum-free chalcogels containing only Fe4S4 clusters are also capable of accomplishing the N2 fixation reaction with even higher efficiency than their Mo2Fe6S8(SPh)3-containing counterparts. Our results suggest that redox-active iron-sulfide-containing materials can activate the N2 molecule upon visible light excitation, which can be reduced all of the way to NH3 using protons and sacrificial electrons in aqueous solution. Evidently, whereas the Mo2Fe6S8(SPh)3 is capable of N2 fixation, Mo itself is not necessary to carry out this process. The initial binding of N2 with chalcogels under illumination was observed with in situ diffuse-reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (DRIFTS). (15)N2 isotope experiments confirm that the generated NH3 derives from N2 Density functional theory (DFT) electronic structure calculations suggest that the N2 binding is thermodynamically favorable only with the highly reduced active clusters. The results reported herein contribute to ongoing efforts of mimicking nitrogenase in fixing nitrogen and point to a promising path in developing catalysts for the reduction of N2 under ambient conditions. PMID:27140630

  18. Salinity effects on growth, photosynthetic parameters, and nitrogenase activity in estuarine planktonic cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Moisander, P H; McClinton, E; Paerl, H W

    2002-05-01

    Salinity has been suggested as being a controlling factor for blooms of N2-fixing cyanobacteria in estuaries. We tested the effect of salinity on the growth, N2 fixation, and photosynthetic activities of estuarine and freshwater isolates of heterocystous bloom-forming cyanobacteria. Anabaena aphanizomenoides and Anabaenopsis sp. were isolated from the Neuse River Estuary, North Carolina, and Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii from Lakes Dora and Griffin, central Florida. Salinity tolerance of these cyanobacteria was compared with that of two Nodularia strains from the Baltic Sea. We measured growth rates, N2 fixation (nitrogenase activity), and CO2 fixation at salinities between 0 and 20 g L(-1) NaCl. We also examined photosynthesis-irradiance relation-ships in response to salinity. Anabaenopsis maintained similar growth rates in the full range of salinities from 2 to 20 g L(-1) NaCl. Anabaena grew at up to 15 g L-', but the maximum salinity 20 g L(-1) NaCl was inhibitory. The upper limit for salinity tolerance of Cylindrospermopsis was 4 g L(-1) NaCl. Nodularia spp. maintained similar growth rates in the full range of salinities from 0 to 20 g L(-1) . Between 0 and 10 g L(-1), the growth rate of Nodularia spumigena was slower than that of the Neuse Estuary strains. In most strains, the sensitivity of nitrogenase activity and CO2 fixation to salinity appeared similar. Anabaenopsis, Anabaena, and the two Nodularia strains rapidly responded to NaCl by increasing their maximum photosynthetic rates (Pmn). Overall, both Neuse River Estuary and Baltic Sea strains showed an ability to acclimate to salt stress over short-(24 h) and long-term (several days to weeks) exposures. The study suggested that direct effect of salinity (as NaCl in these experiments) on cyanobacterial physiology does not alone explain the low frequency and magnitude of blooms of N2-fixing cyanobacteria in estuaries. PMID:12043002

  19. Cervical cancer: is herpes simplex virus type II a cofactor?

    PubMed Central

    Jones, C

    1995-01-01

    In many ways, cervical cancer behaves as a sexually transmitted disease. The major risk factors are multiple sexual partners and early onset of sexual activity. Although high-risk types of human papillomaviruses (HPV) play an important role in the development of nearly all cases of cervical cancer, other sexually transmitted infectious agents may be cofactors. Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is transmitted primarily by sexual contact and therefore has been implicated as a risk factor. Several independent studies suggest that HSV-2 infections correlate with a higher than normal incidence of cervical cancer. In contrast, other epidemiological studies have concluded that infection with HSV-2 is not a major risk factor. Two separate transforming domains have been identified within the HSV-2 genome, but continued viral gene expression apparently is not necessary for neoplastic transformation. HSV infections lead to unscheduled cellular DNA synthesis, chromosomal amplifications, and mutations. These observations suggest that HSV-2 is not a typical DNA tumor virus. It is hypothesized that persistent or abortive infections induce permanent genetic alterations that interfere with differentiation of cervical epithelium and subsequently induce abnormal proliferation. Thus, HSV-2 may be a cofactor in some but not all cases of cervical cancer. PMID:8665469

  20. Exercise–induced Anaphylaxis: the Role of Cofactors

    PubMed Central

    Zogaj, Dukagjin; Ibranji, Alkerta; Hoxha, Mehmet

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Anaphylaxis is a dramatic clinical emergency. It is a very severe, life-threatening generalized or systemic hypersensitivity reaction. Based on immunologic mechanism the anaphylaxis is divided in IgE, IgG, complement, or immune complexes-mediated vs non allergic anaphylaxis. There are a lot of etiologic factors of anaphylaxis, but the three principal immunologic triggers are drugs, insect stings, and foods. Regarding the clinical severity there are several proposed grading systems. The diagnosis of anaphylaxis is mainly clinical. Discussion: The anaphylaxis markers measured in clinical laboratories are total tryptase and histamine. There are some conditions that modulate the onset of anaphylaxis, acting as co- or augmentation factors, which significantly lower the allergen dose necessary for triggering anaphylaxis. The well-documented cofactors of anaphylaxis are physical exercise, alcohol consumption, some foods, co-administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), and concomitant infectious diseases. Development of anaphylaxis depends on the sensitization pattern, the proportion of the involved immunoglobulin classes, characteristics of the allergen, the proportion of the involved immunoglobulin classes, the avidity and affinity of immunoglobulins to bind an allergen, the route of allergen application, and, last but not least, the presence of cofactors of anaphylaxis. Conclusion: Anaphylaxis remains a continuous challenge for the diagnosis and treatment. The adequate management of anaphylaxis requires rapid diagnosis, implementation of primary and secondary prevention measures, and immediate administration of subcutaneous epinephrine. PMID:25685088

  1. HMGB1 is a cofactor in mammalian base excision repair.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Rajendra; Liu, Yuan; Deterding, Leesa J; Poltoratsky, Vladimir P; Kedar, Padmini S; Horton, Julie K; Kanno, Shin-Ichiro; Asagoshi, Kenjiro; Hou, Esther W; Khodyreva, Svetlana N; Lavrik, Olga I; Tomer, Kenneth B; Yasui, Akira; Wilson, Samuel H

    2007-09-01

    Deoxyribose phosphate (dRP) removal by DNA polymerase beta (Pol beta) is a pivotal step in base excision repair (BER). To identify BER cofactors, especially those with dRP lyase activity, we used a Pol beta null cell extract and BER intermediate as bait for sodium borohydride crosslinking. Mass spectrometry identified the high-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) as specifically interacting with the BER intermediate. Purified HMGB1 was found to have weak dRP lyase activity and to stimulate AP endonuclease and FEN1 activities on BER substrates. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments revealed interactions of HMGB1 with known BER enzymes, and GFP-tagged HMGB1 was found to accumulate at sites of oxidative DNA damage in living cells. HMGB1(-/-) mouse cells were slightly more resistant to MMS than wild-type cells, probably due to the production of fewer strand-break BER intermediates. The results suggest HMGB1 is a BER cofactor capable of modulating BER capacity in cells. PMID:17803946

  2. Coordinated Expression of fdxD and Molybdenum Nitrogenase Genes Promotes Nitrogen Fixation by Rhodobacter capsulatus in the Presence of Oxygen

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmann, Marie-Christine; Müller, Alexandra; Fehringer, Maria; Pfänder, Yvonne; Narberhaus, Franz

    2014-01-01

    Rhodobacter capsulatus is able to grow with N2 as the sole nitrogen source using either a molybdenum-dependent or a molybdenum-free iron-only nitrogenase whose expression is strictly inhibited by ammonium. Disruption of the fdxD gene, which is located directly upstream of the Mo-nitrogenase genes, nifHDK, abolished diazotrophic growth via Mo-nitrogenase at oxygen concentrations still tolerated by the wild type, thus demonstrating the importance of FdxD under semiaerobic conditions. In contrast, FdxD was not beneficial for diazotrophic growth depending on Fe-nitrogenase. These findings suggest that the 2Fe2S ferredoxin FdxD specifically supports the Mo-nitrogenase system, probably by protecting Mo-nitrogenase against oxygen, as previously shown for its Azotobacter vinelandii counterpart, FeSII. Expression of fdxD occurred under nitrogen-fixing conditions, but not in the presence of ammonium. Expression of fdxD strictly required NifA1 and NifA2, the transcriptional activators of the Mo-nitrogenase genes, but not AnfA, the transcriptional activator of the Fe-nitrogenase genes. Expression of the fdxD and nifH genes, as well as the FdxD and NifH protein levels, increased with increasing molybdate concentrations. Molybdate induction of fdxD was independent of the molybdate-sensing regulators MopA and MopB, which repress anfA transcription at micromolar molybdate concentrations. In this report, we demonstrate the physiological relevance of an fesII-like gene, fdxD, and show that the cellular nitrogen and molybdenum statuses are integrated to control its expression. PMID:24272776

  3. Mass spectrometry locates local and allosteric conformational changes that occur on cofactor binding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beveridge, Rebecca; Migas, Lukasz G.; Payne, Karl A. P.; Scrutton, Nigel S.; Leys, David; Barran, Perdita E.

    2016-07-01

    Fdc1 is a decarboxylase enzyme that requires the novel prenylated FMN cofactor for activity. Here, we use it as an exemplar system to show how native top-down and bottom-up mass spectrometry can measure the structural effect of cofactor binding by a protein. For Fdc1Ubix, the cofactor confers structural stability to the enzyme. IM-MS shows the holo protein to exist in four closely related conformational families, the populations of which differ in the apo form; the two smaller families are more populated in the presence of the cofactor and depopulated in its absence. These findings, supported by MD simulations, indicate a more open structure for the apo form. HDX-MS reveals that while the dominant structural changes occur proximal to the cofactor-binding site, rearrangements on cofactor binding are evident throughout the protein, predominantly attributable to allosteric conformational tightening, consistent with IM-MS data.

  4. Manual control of catalytic reactions: Reactions by an apoenzyme gel and a cofactor gel

    PubMed Central

    Kobayashi, Yuichiro; Takashima, Yoshinori; Hashidzume, Akihito; Yamaguchi, Hiroyasu; Harada, Akira

    2015-01-01

    Enzymes play a vital role in catalysing almost all chemical reactions that occur in biological systems. Some enzymes must form complexes with non-protein molecules called cofactors to express catalytic activities. Although the control of catalytic reactions via apoenzyme–cofactor complexes has attracted significant attention, the reports have been limited to the microscale. Here, we report a system to express catalytic activity by adhesion of an apoenzyme gel and a cofactor gel. The apoenzyme and cofactor gels act as catalysts when they form a gel assembly, but they lose catalytic ability upon manual dissociation. We successfully construct a system with switchable catalytic activity via adhesion and separation of the apoenzyme gel with the cofactor gel. We expect that this methodology can be applied to regulate the functional activities of enzymes that bear cofactors in their active sites, such as the oxygen transport of haemoglobin or myoglobin and the electron transport of cytochromes. PMID:26537172

  5. Manual control of catalytic reactions: Reactions by an apoenzyme gel and a cofactor gel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kobayashi, Yuichiro; Takashima, Yoshinori; Hashidzume, Akihito; Yamaguchi, Hiroyasu; Harada, Akira

    2015-11-01

    Enzymes play a vital role in catalysing almost all chemical reactions that occur in biological systems. Some enzymes must form complexes with non-protein molecules called cofactors to express catalytic activities. Although the control of catalytic reactions via apoenzyme-cofactor complexes has attracted significant attention, the reports have been limited to the microscale. Here, we report a system to express catalytic activity by adhesion of an apoenzyme gel and a cofactor gel. The apoenzyme and cofactor gels act as catalysts when they form a gel assembly, but they lose catalytic ability upon manual dissociation. We successfully construct a system with switchable catalytic activity via adhesion and separation of the apoenzyme gel with the cofactor gel. We expect that this methodology can be applied to regulate the functional activities of enzymes that bear cofactors in their active sites, such as the oxygen transport of haemoglobin or myoglobin and the electron transport of cytochromes.

  6. Mass spectrometry locates local and allosteric conformational changes that occur on cofactor binding

    PubMed Central

    Beveridge, Rebecca; Migas, Lukasz G.; Payne, Karl A. P.; Scrutton, Nigel S.; Leys, David; Barran, Perdita E.

    2016-01-01

    Fdc1 is a decarboxylase enzyme that requires the novel prenylated FMN cofactor for activity. Here, we use it as an exemplar system to show how native top-down and bottom-up mass spectrometry can measure the structural effect of cofactor binding by a protein. For Fdc1Ubix, the cofactor confers structural stability to the enzyme. IM–MS shows the holo protein to exist in four closely related conformational families, the populations of which differ in the apo form; the two smaller families are more populated in the presence of the cofactor and depopulated in its absence. These findings, supported by MD simulations, indicate a more open structure for the apo form. HDX-MS reveals that while the dominant structural changes occur proximal to the cofactor-binding site, rearrangements on cofactor binding are evident throughout the protein, predominantly attributable to allosteric conformational tightening, consistent with IM–MS data. PMID:27418477

  7. Effect of supra-ambient oxygen on nitrogenase activity (C/sub 2/H/sub 2/) and root respiration of soybeans and isolated soybean bacteroids

    SciTech Connect

    Patterson, T.G.; Peterson, J.B.; LaRue, T.A.

    1983-01-01

    Isolated soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr. cv Wilkin) bacteroids have O/sub 2/-dependent nitrogenase activity which is strongly inhibited by supraoptimal O/sub 2/ concentrations. Oxygen-inhibited nitrogenase activity is recovered by addition of 10 millimolar sodium succinate or by lowering the O/sub 2/ concentration. Brief treatment of roots of intact soybean plants with 1.0 atmosphere O/sub 2/ reduces nitrogenase activity (C/sub 2/H/sub 2/). There is a rapid partial recovery of activity within 2 to 3 hours, and a slower return to near normal levels by 36 hours. The drop and recovery of nitrogenase activity is accompanied by a parallel drop and increase in root respiration. There is a direct relationship between the change in respiration and the change in acetylene reduction following O/sub 2/ treatment. The O/sub 2/-mediated changes in nitrogenase activity and root respiration are not affected by the planting medium. The ratio of the change in respiration to the change in nitrogenase activity was the same in 13 soybean cultivars.

  8. Effect of high pN2 and high pD2 on NH3 production, H2 evolution, and HD formation by nitrogenases

    SciTech Connect

    Jensen, B.B.; Burris, R.H.

    1985-02-26

    We have investigated the effect of the partial pressure of N2 and D2 on HD formation, H2 evolution, and NH3 production by nitrogenase from Klebsiella pneumoniae and Clostridium pasteurianum. By using pressures up to 4 atm, we have been able to extend the concentration range of N2 and D2 in our investigations beyond that used in previous studies. The pN2 dependence of HD formation with constant pD2 ideally shows no HD formation under zero pN2, reaches a peak which depends on the pD2, and then decreases to zero at very high pN2. K. pneumoniae and C. pasteurianum nitrogenases differ in their Ki(D2) for nitrogen fixation. C. pasteurianum nitrogenase had the lower activity for formation of HD. With K. pneumoniae nitrogenase, D2 enhanced H2 evolution from 31% of the electron flux partitioned to H2 in the absence of D2 to 51% of the electron flux partitioned to H2 at 400 kPa of D2. With C. pasteurianum nitrogenase, the equivalent values were 33% and 48% of the total electron flux. Our results support previou findings on the mechanism for nitrogenase-catalyzed reductions proposed by W. W. Cleland.

  9. Multi-omic dynamics associate oxygenic photosynthesis with nitrogenase-mediated H2 production in Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Bernstein, Hans C.; Charania, Moiz A.; McClure, Ryan S.; Sadler, Natalie C.; Melnicki, Matthew R.; Hill, Eric A.; Markillie, Lye Meng; Nicora, Carrie D.; Wright, Aaron T.; Romine, Margaret F.; et al

    2015-11-03

    This study combines transcriptomic and proteomic profiling to provide new insights on the metabolic relationship between oxygenic photosynthesis and nitrogenase-mediated H2 production in the model cyanobacterium, Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142. To date, the proposed mechanisms used to describe the energy metabolism processes that support H2 production in Cyanothece 51142 have assumed that ATP and reductant requirements are derived solely from glycogen oxidation and/or cyclic-electron flow around photosystem I. The results from this study present and test an alternative hypothesis by showing that net-positive rates of oxygenic photosynthesis and increased expression of photosystem II reaction centers correspond and are synchronized withmore » nitrogenase expression and H2 production. These findings provide a new and more complete view on the metabolic processes contributing to the energy budget of photosynthetic H2 production and highlight the likely role of photocatalytic H2O oxidation as a major participating process.« less

  10. Correction for creatine interference with the direct indophenol measurement of NH3 in steady-state nitrogenase assays.

    PubMed

    Dilworth, M J; Eldridge, M E; Eady, R R

    1992-11-15

    Creatine was identified as a major source of interference with the direct phenol/hypochlorite colorimetric determination of ammonia in nitrogenase reaction mixtures. A method is described for removing other compounds which inhibit color development and for compensating for the interference produced by creatine. This method avoids time-consuming microdiffusion and also routinely makes available the efficiency of ATP hydrolysis coupled to substrate reduction (ATP/2e ratio) with N2 as a reducible substrate. Using this method we determined values for this ratio at 30 degrees C of 4.87 +/- 0.03 during the reduction of protons to H2 and 7.16 +/- 0.14 during the reduction of N2 by the vanadium-containing nitrogenase of Azotobacter chroococcum. PMID:1336937

  11. Nucleotide sequence and mutational analysis of the structural genes (anfHDGK) for the second alternative nitrogenase from Azotobacter vinelandii.

    PubMed Central

    Joerger, R D; Jacobson, M R; Premakumar, R; Wolfinger, E D; Bishop, P E

    1989-01-01

    The nucleotide sequence of a region of the Azotobacter vinelandii genome exhibiting sequence similarity to nifH has been determined. The order of open reading frames within this 6.1-kilobase-pair region was found to be anfH (alternative nitrogen fixation, nifH-like gene), anfD (nifD-like gene), anfG (potentially encoding a protein similar to the product of vnfG from Azotobacter chroococcum), anfK (nifK-like gene), followed by two additional open reading frames. The 5'-flanking region of anfH contains a nif promoter similar to that found in the A. vinelandii nifHDK gene cluster. The presumed products of anfH, anfD, and anfK are similar in predicted Mr and pI to the previously described subunits of nitrogenase 3. Deletion plus insertion mutations introduced into the anfHDGK region of wild-type strain A. vinelandii CA resulted in mutant strains that were unable to grow in Mo-deficient, N-free medium but grew in the presence of 1 microM Na2MoO4 or V2O5. Introduction of the same mutations into the nifHDK deletion strain CA11 resulted in strains that grew under diazotrophic conditions only in the presence of vanadium. The lack of nitrogenase 3 subunits in these mutant strains was demonstrated through two-dimensional gel analysis of protein extracts from cells derepressed for nitrogenase under Mo and V deficiency. These results indicate that anfH, anfD, and anfK encode structural proteins for nitrogenase 3. Images PMID:2644222

  12. Nucleotide sequence and mutational analysis of the structural genes (anfHDGK) for the second alternative nitrogenase from Azotobacter vinelandii.

    PubMed

    Joerger, R D; Jacobson, M R; Premakumar, R; Wolfinger, E D; Bishop, P E

    1989-02-01

    The nucleotide sequence of a region of the Azotobacter vinelandii genome exhibiting sequence similarity to nifH has been determined. The order of open reading frames within this 6.1-kilobase-pair region was found to be anfH (alternative nitrogen fixation, nifH-like gene), anfD (nifD-like gene), anfG (potentially encoding a protein similar to the product of vnfG from Azotobacter chroococcum), anfK (nifK-like gene), followed by two additional open reading frames. The 5'-flanking region of anfH contains a nif promoter similar to that found in the A. vinelandii nifHDK gene cluster. The presumed products of anfH, anfD, and anfK are similar in predicted Mr and pI to the previously described subunits of nitrogenase 3. Deletion plus insertion mutations introduced into the anfHDGK region of wild-type strain A. vinelandii CA resulted in mutant strains that were unable to grow in Mo-deficient, N-free medium but grew in the presence of 1 microM Na2MoO4 or V2O5. Introduction of the same mutations into the nifHDK deletion strain CA11 resulted in strains that grew under diazotrophic conditions only in the presence of vanadium. The lack of nitrogenase 3 subunits in these mutant strains was demonstrated through two-dimensional gel analysis of protein extracts from cells derepressed for nitrogenase under Mo and V deficiency. These results indicate that anfH, anfD, and anfK encode structural proteins for nitrogenase 3. PMID:2644222

  13. Characterization of transcriptional regulatory domains of ankyrin repeat cofactor-1

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Aihua; Li, Chia-Wei; Chen, J. Don . E-mail: chenjd@umdnj.edu

    2007-07-13

    The ankyrin repeats cofactor-1 (ANCO-1) was recently identified as a p160 coactivator-interacting protein that may inhibit transcriptional activity of nuclear receptors. Here, we have characterized the transcriptional regulatory domains of ANCO-1. Two intrinsic repression domains (RD) were identified: an N-terminal RD1 at residues 318-611 and a C-terminal RD2 at 2369-2663. ANCO-1 also contains an activation domain (AD) capable of stimulating transcription in both mammalian and yeast cells. The minimal AD was delimited to a 70-amino acid region at residues 2076-2145. Overall, full-length ANCO-1 exhibited transcriptional repressor activity, suggesting that RD domains may suppress the AD activity. We further demonstrated that ANCO-1 silencing by siRNA enhanced progesterone receptor-mediated transcription. Together, these results indicate that the transcriptional potential of ANCO-1 may be modulated by a combination of repression and activation signals.

  14. Spontaneous Formation of RNA Strands, Peptidyl RNA, and Cofactors

    PubMed Central

    Jauker, Mario; Griesser, Helmut; Richert, Clemens

    2015-01-01

    How the biochemical machinery evolved from simple precursors is an open question. Here we show that ribonucleotides and amino acids condense to peptidyl RNAs in the absence of enzymes under conditions established for genetic copying. Untemplated formation of RNA strands that can encode genetic information, formation of peptidyl chains linked to RNA, and formation of the cofactors NAD+, FAD, and ATP all occur under the same conditions. In the peptidyl RNAs, the peptide chains are phosphoramidate-linked to a ribonucleotide. Peptidyl RNAs with long peptide chains were selected from an initial pool when a lipophilic phase simulating the interior of membranes was offered, and free peptides were released upon acidification. Our results show that key molecules of genetics, catalysis, and metabolism can emerge under the same conditions, without a mineral surface, without an enzyme, and without the need for chemical pre-activation. PMID:26435376

  15. Mechanistic Contributions of Biological Cofactors in Islet Amyloid Polypeptide Amyloidogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Phuong Trang; Andraka, Nagore; De Carufel, Carole Anne; Bourgault, Steve

    2015-01-01

    Type II diabetes mellitus is associated with the deposition of fibrillar aggregates in pancreatic islets. The major protein component of islet amyloids is the glucomodulatory hormone islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP). Islet amyloid fibrils are virtually always associated with several biomolecules, including apolipoprotein E, metals, glycosaminoglycans, and various lipids. IAPP amyloidogenesis has been originally perceived as a self-assembly homogeneous process in which the inherent aggregation propensity of the peptide and its local concentration constitute the major driving forces to fibrillization. However, over the last two decades, numerous studies have shown a prominent role of amyloid cofactors in IAPP fibrillogenesis associated with the etiology of type II diabetes. It is increasingly evident that the biochemical microenvironment in which IAPP amyloid formation occurs and the interactions of the polypeptide with various biomolecules not only modulate the rate and extent of aggregation, but could also remodel the amyloidogenesis process as well as the structure, toxicity, and stability of the resulting fibrils. PMID:26576436

  16. Spatially Organized Enzymes Drive Cofactor-Coupled Cascade Reactions.

    PubMed

    Ngo, Tien Anh; Nakata, Eiji; Saimura, Masayuki; Morii, Takashi

    2016-03-01

    We report the construction of an artificial enzyme cascade based on the xylose metabolic pathway. Two enzymes, xylose reductase and xylitol dehydrogenase, were assembled at specific locations on DNA origami by using DNA-binding protein adaptors with systematic variations in the interenzyme distances and defined numbers of enzyme molecules. The reaction system, which localized the two enzymes in close proximity to facilitate transport of reaction intermediates, resulted in significantly higher yields of the conversion of xylose into xylulose through the intermediate xylitol with recycling of the cofactor NADH. Analysis of the initial reaction rate, regenerated amount of NADH, and simulation of the intermediates' diffusion indicated that the intermediates diffused to the second enzyme by Brownian motion. The efficiency of the cascade reaction with the bimolecular transport of xylitol and NAD(+) likely depends more on the interenzyme distance than that of the cascade reaction with unimolecular transport between two enzymes. PMID:26881296

  17. Expression of a functional oxygen-labile nitrogenase component in the mitochondrial matrix of aerobically grown yeast

    PubMed Central

    López-Torrejón, Gema; Jiménez-Vicente, Emilio; Buesa, José María; Hernandez, Jose A.; Verma, Hemant K.; Rubio, Luis M.

    2016-01-01

    The extreme sensitivity of nitrogenase towards oxygen stands as a major barrier to engineer biological nitrogen fixation into cereal crops by direct nif gene transfer. Here, we use yeast as a model of eukaryotic cell and show that aerobically grown cells express active nitrogenase Fe protein when the NifH polypeptide is targeted to the mitochondrial matrix together with the NifM maturase. Co-expression of NifH and NifM with Nif-specific Fe–S cluster biosynthetic proteins NifU and NifS is not required for Fe protein activity, demonstrating NifH ability to incorporate endogenous mitochondrial Fe–S clusters. In contrast, expression of active Fe protein in the cytosol requires both anoxic growth conditions and co-expression of NifH and NifM with NifU and NifS. Our results show the convenience of using mitochondria to host nitrogenase components, thus providing instrumental technology for the grand challenge of engineering N2-fixing cereals. PMID:27126134

  18. Effects of long-term preservation of Frankia strains on infectivity, effectivity, and in vitro nitrogenase activity

    SciTech Connect

    Fontaine, M.S.; Young, P.H.; Torrey, J.G.

    1986-04-01

    Frankia strain HFP ArI3 which had been preserved for 27 months by being lyophilized, frozen in glycerol, or stored in complex medium was successfully used as an inoculum after being subcultured for inducing nodulation and nitrogen fixation of Alnus rubra. Glycerol-preserved HFPArI3 produced significantly lower rates of nitrogenase activity than did lyophilized or complex-medium-preserved inocula. Bacteria that had been preserved by all three methods were successfully induced to fix atmospheric nitrogen by being cultured in nitrogen-free medium. Subculturing of these cells in nitrogen-free medium a second and third time yielded increasing rates of nitrogenase activity. Initial nitrogenase activity was detected on days 5, 4, and 3 during the first, second, and third subcultures after preservation, respectively. Maximum activity was observed on days 11, 10, and 8 during the first, second, and third subcultures, respectively. A description is given of standard culture techniques used in our laboratory for Frankia isolates, and methods used to distribute Frankia cultures by mail are described.

  19. NifI inhibits nitrogenase by competing with Fe protein for binding to the MoFe protein

    SciTech Connect

    Dodsworth, Jeremy A.; Leigh, John A.

    2007-12-14

    Reduction of substrate by nitrogenase requires direct electron transfer from the Fe protein to the MoFe protein. Inhibition of nitrogenase activity in Methanococcus maripaludis occurs when the regulatory protein NifI{sub 1,2} binds the MoFe protein. This inhibition is relieved by 2-oxoglutarate. Here we present evidence that NifI{sub 1,2} binding prevents association of the two nitrogenase components. Increasing amounts of Fe protein competed with NifI{sub 1,2}, decreasing its inhibitory effect. NifI{sub 1,2} prevented the co-purification of MoFe protein with a mutant form of the Fe protein that forms a stable complex with the MoFe protein, and NifI{sub 1,2} was unable to bind to an AlF{sub 4}{sup -}-stabilized Fe protein:MoFe protein complex. NifI{sub 1,2} inhibited ATP- and MoFe protein-dependent oxidation of the Fe protein, and 2OG relieved this inhibition. These results support a model where NifI{sub 1,2} competes with the Fe protein for binding to MoFe protein and prevents electron transfer.

  20. Structural analysis of the genes encoding the molybdenum-iron protein of nitrogenase in the Parasponia rhizobium strain ANU289.

    PubMed Central

    Weinman, J J; Fellows, F F; Gresshoff, P M; Shine, J; Scott, K F

    1984-01-01

    The genes encoding the Molybdenum-Iron protein component of nitrogenase (nifD and nifK) have been identified and fully characterised in the Parasponia Rhizobium strain ANU289. The two genes are contiguous and are separated from the gene encoding the Fe-protein component of nitrogenase (nifH) by 21 kb of DNA. We present the entire DNA sequence of the nifD and nifK genes, thus completing the characterisation of the primary structure of the nitrogenase genes in this Rhizobium strain. Comparison of the sequence preceding the transcription initiation point of nifDK with that preceding nifH reveals a consensus promoter sequence 5'-PyTGGCAPyG-4 bp-TTGC(T/A)-10 bp-3'. This consensus promoter is found preceding nif genes in both fast-growing and slow-growing Rhizobium strains and shows a structural similarity to that preceding the coordinately-regulated nif operons in the asymbiotic organism Klebsiella pneumoniae. Images PMID:6095197

  1. Evolution of Molybdenum Nitrogenase during the Transition from Anaerobic to Aerobic Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Boyd, Eric S.; Costas, Amaya M. Garcia; Hamilton, Trinity L.; Mus, Florence

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Molybdenum nitrogenase (Nif), which catalyzes the reduction of dinitrogen to ammonium, has modulated the availability of fixed nitrogen in the biosphere since early in Earth's history. Phylogenetic evidence indicates that oxygen (O2)-sensitive Nif emerged in an anaerobic archaeon and later diversified into an aerobic bacterium. Aerobic bacteria that fix N2 have adapted a number of strategies to protect Nif from inactivation by O2, including spatial and temporal segregation of Nif from O2 and respiratory consumption of O2. Here we report the complement of Nif-encoding genes in 189 diazotrophic genomes. We show that the evolution of Nif during the transition from anaerobic to aerobic metabolism was accompanied by both gene recruitment and loss, resulting in a substantial increase in the number of nif genes. While the observed increase in the number of nif genes and their phylogenetic distribution are strongly correlated with adaptation to utilize O2 in metabolism, the increase is not correlated with any of the known O2 protection mechanisms. Rather, gene recruitment appears to have been in response to selective pressure to optimize Nif synthesis to meet fixed N demands associated with aerobic productivity and to more efficiently regulate Nif under oxic conditions that favor protein turnover. Consistent with this hypothesis, the transition of Nif from anoxic to oxic environments is associated with a shift from posttranslational regulation in anaerobes to transcriptional regulation in obligate aerobes and facultative anaerobes. Given that fixed nitrogen typically limits ecosystem productivity, our observations further underscore the dynamic interplay between the evolution of Earth's oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon biogeochemical cycles. IMPORTANCE Molybdenum nitrogenase (Nif), which catalyzes the reduction of dinitrogen to ammonium, has modulated the availability of fixed nitrogen in the biosphere since early in Earth's history. Nif emerged in an anaerobe and

  2. EPR monitored redox titration of the cofactors of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Nar1.

    PubMed

    Hagedoorn, Peter-Leon; van der Weel, Laura; Hagen, Wilfred R

    2014-01-01

    Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) monitored redox titrations are a powerful method to determine the midpoint potential of cofactors in proteins and to identify and quantify the cofactors in their detectable redox state. The technique is complementary to direct electrochemistry (voltammetry) approaches, as it does not offer information on electron transfer rates, but does establish the identity and redox state of the cofactors in the protein under study. The technique is widely applicable to any protein containing an electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) detectable cofactor. A typical titration requires 2 ml protein with a cofactor concentration in the range of 1-100 µM. The protein is titrated with a chemical reductant (sodium dithionite) or oxidant (potassium ferricyanide) in order to poise the sample at a certain potential. A platinum wire and a Ag/AgCl reference electrode are connected to a voltmeter to measure the potential of the protein solution A set of 13 different redox mediators is used to equilibrate between the redox cofactors of the protein and the electrodes. Samples are drawn at different potentials and the Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectra, characteristic for the different redox cofactors in the protein, are measured. The plot of the signal intensity versus the sample potential is analyzed using the Nernst equation in order to determine the midpoint potential of the cofactor. PMID:25490157

  3. Dynamics of Protein Folding and Cofactor Binding Monitored by Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Yi; Li, Hongbin

    2011-01-01

    Many proteins in living cells require cofactors to carry out their biological functions. To reach their functional states, these proteins need to fold into their unique three-dimensional structures in the presence of their cofactors. Two processes, folding of the protein and binding of cofactors, intermingle with each other, making the direct elucidation of the folding mechanism of proteins in the presence of cofactors challenging. Here we use single-molecule atomic force microscopy to directly monitor the folding and cofactor binding dynamics of an engineered metal-binding protein G6-53 at the single-molecule level. Using the mechanical stability of different conformers of G6-53 as sensitive probes, we directly identified different G6-53 conformers (unfolded, apo- and Ni2+-bound) populated along the folding pathway of G6-53 in the presence of its cofactor Ni2+. By carrying out single-molecule atomic force microscopy refolding experiments, we monitored kinetic evolution processes of these different conformers. Our results suggested that the majority of G6-53 folds through a binding-after-folding mechanism, whereas a small fraction follows a binding-before-folding pathway. Our study opens an avenue to utilizing force spectroscopy techniques to probe the folding dynamics of proteins in the presence of cofactors at the single-molecule level, and we anticipated that this method can be used to study a wide variety of proteins requiring cofactors for their function. PMID:22004755

  4. Dinitrogenase with altered substrate specificity results from the use of homocitrate analogues for in vitro synthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor

    SciTech Connect

    Hoover, T.R.; Imperial, J.; Liang, J.; Ludden, P.W.; Shah, V.K.

    1988-05-17

    The in vitro synthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMo-co) of nitrogenase requires homocitrate (2-hydroxy-1,2,4-butanetricarboxylic acid). Homocitrate is apparently synthesized by the nifV gene product. In the absence of homocitrate, no FeMo-co is formed in vitro, as determined from coupled C/sub 2/H/sub 2/ reduction assays and the lack of /sup 99/Mo label incorporation into apodinitrogenase. Several organic acids were tested for their ability to replace homocitrate in the FeMo-co synthesis system. With appropriate homocitrate analogues, aberrant forms of FeMo-co are synthesized that exhibit altered substrate specificity and inhibitor susceptibility. Homoisocitrate (1-hydroxy-1,2,4-butanetricarboxylic acid) and 2-oxoglutarate facilitated the incorporation of /sup 99/Mo into apodinitrogenase in the FeMo-co synthesis system, yielding a dinitrogenase that effectively catalyzed the reduction of protons but not C/sub 2/H/sub 2/ or N/sub 2/. Citrate also promoted the incorporation of /sup 99/Mo into apodinitrogenase, and the resulting holodinitrogenase reduced protons and C/sub 2/H/sub 2/ effectively but not N/sub 2/. In addition, proton reduction from this enzyme was inhibited by CO. The properties of the homodinitrogenase formed in the presence of citrate were reminiscent of those of the Klebsiella pneumoniae NifV/sup -/ dinitrogenase. The authors also observed low rates of HD formation from NifV/sup -/ dinitrogenase compared to those from the wild-type enzyme. No HD formation was observed with the dinitrogenase activated in vitro in the presence of citrate. They propose that in vivo NifV/sup -/ mutants utilize citrate for FeMo-co synthesis.

  5. Nuclear Receptor Cofactors in PPARγ-Mediated Adipogenesis and Adipocyte Energy Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Powell, Emily; Kuhn, Peter; Xu, Wei

    2007-01-01

    Transcriptional cofactors are integral to the proper function and regulation of nuclear receptors. Members of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) family of nuclear receptors are involved in the regulation of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. They modulate gene transcription in response to a wide variety of ligands, a process that is mediated by transcriptional coactivators and corepressors. The mechanisms by which these cofactors mediate transcriptional regulation of nuclear receptor function are still being elucidated. The rapidly increasing array of cofactors has brought into focus the need for a clear understanding of how these cofactors interact in ligand- and cell-specific manners. This review highlights the differential effects of the assorted cofactors regulating the transcriptional action of PPARγ and summarizes the recent advances in understanding the physiological functions of corepressors and coactivators. PMID:17389765

  6. SQUID measurement of metalloprotein magnetization. New methods applied to the nitrogenase proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Day, E P; Kent, T A; Lindahl, P A; Münck, E; Orme-Johnson, W H; Roder, H; Roy, A

    1987-01-01

    New techniques have been developed to exploit the sensitivity of a commercial SQUID susceptometer in the study of the magnetization of metalloproteins. Previous studies have ignored both the slow relaxation (hours) of spin I = 1/2 nuclei and residual ferromagnetic impurities in sample holders. These potential sources of noise were at or below the sensitivity of previous instruments. With these noise sources under control, one can now decrease the protein concentration by a factor of ten. In addition careful characterization of the frozen magnetization sample, including the use of a multi-instrument holder for combined study of the magnetization sample with Mössbauer spectroscopy, is required for reliable interpretation of the data in the face of paramagnetic impurities common to metalloprotein samples. Many previous magnetic studies of metalloproteins have been carried out in the Curie region. Saturation magnetization studies down to 1.8 K and up to 5 T can determine zero-field splitting parameters in addition to the spin and exchange coupling parameters measured in previous studies at lower fields and higher temperatures. Applications of these techniques to the study of the nitrogenase proteins of Azotobacter vinelandii are presented as examples. PMID:3480761

  7. Nitrogenase expression in estuarine bacterioplankton influenced by organic carbon and availability of oxygen.

    PubMed

    Severin, Ina; Bentzon-Tilia, Mikkel; Moisander, Pia H; Riemann, Lasse

    2015-07-01

    The genetic capacity to fix gaseous nitrogen (N) is distributed among diverse diazotrophs belonging to the Bacteria and Archaea. However, only a subset of the putative diazotrophs present actively fix N at any given time in the environment. We experimentally tested whether the availability of carbon and inhibition by oxygen constrain N fixation by diazotrophs in coastal seawater. The goal was to test whether by alleviating these constraints an increased overlap between nitrogenase (nifH)-gene-carrying and -expressing organisms could be achieved. We incubated water from a eutrophic but N-limited fjord in Denmark under high-carbon/low-oxygen conditions and determined bacterial growth and production, diazotrophic community composition (Illumina nifH amplicon sequencing), and nifH gene abundance and expression [quantitative PCR (qPCR) and quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR)]. Bacterial abundances and production increased under high-carbon/low-oxygen conditions as did the similarity between present and active diazotrophic communities. This was caused by the loss of specific abundant yet non-active gammaproteobacterial phylotypes and increased expression by others. The prominent active gamma- and epsilonproteobacterial diazotrophs did not, however, respond to these conditions in a uniform way, highlighting the difficulty to assess how a change in environmental conditions may affect a diverse indigenous diazotrophic community. PMID:26152701

  8. Ammonia formation by a thiolate-bridged diiron amide complex as a nitrogenase mimic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yang; Li, Ying; Wang, Baomin; Luo, Yi; Yang, Dawei; Tong, Peng; Zhao, Jinfeng; Luo, Lun; Zhou, Yuhan; Chen, Si; Cheng, Fang; Qu, Jingping

    2013-04-01

    Although nitrogenase enzymes routinely convert molecular nitrogen into ammonia under ambient temperature and pressure, this reaction is currently carried out industrially using the Haber-Bosch process, which requires extreme temperatures and pressures to activate dinitrogen. Biological fixation occurs through dinitrogen and reduced NxHy species at multi-iron centres of compounds bearing sulfur ligands, but it is difficult to elucidate the mechanistic details and to obtain stable model intermediate complexes for further investigation. Metal-based synthetic models have been applied to reveal partial details, although most models involve a mononuclear system. Here, we report a diiron complex bridged by a bidentate thiolate ligand that can accommodate HN=NH. Following reductions and protonations, HN=NH is converted to NH3 through pivotal intermediate complexes bridged by N2H3- and NH2- species. Notably, the final ammonia release was effected with water as the proton source. Density functional theory calculations were carried out, and a pathway of biological nitrogen fixation is proposed.

  9. Wheat straw degradation and production of alternative substrates for nitrogenase of Rhodobacter sphaeroides.

    PubMed

    Dziga, Dariusz; Jagiełło-Flasińska, Dominika

    2015-01-01

    Cellulose is a major component of plant biomass and could be applied in the production of biofuels, especially bioethanol. An alternative approach is production of a clean fuel - hydrogen from cellulosic biomass. In this paper an innovatory model of cellulosic waste degradation has been proposed to verify the possibility of utilization of cellulose derivatives by purple non-sulfur bacteria. The concept is based on a two-step process of wheat straw conversion by bacteria in order to obtain an organic acid mixture. In the next stage such products are consumed by Rhodobacter sphaeroides, the known producer of hydrogen. It has been documented that Cellulomonas uda expresses cellulolytic activity in the presence of wheat straw as an only source of carbon. R. sphaeroides applied in this research can effectively consume organic acids released from straw by C. uda and Lactobacillus rhamnosus and is able to grow in the presence of these substrates. Additionally, an increased nitrogenase activity of R. sphaeroides has been indicated when bacteria were cultivated in the presence of cellulose derivatives which suggests that hydrogen production occurs. PMID:26192769

  10. Effects of monosulfuron on growth, photosynthesis, and nitrogenase activity of three nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Shen, Jianying; Luo, Wei

    2011-01-01

    Application of monosulfuron, a new sulfonylurea herbicide, produced a simulative effect on heterocyst formation and nitrogenase activity but an inhibitory effect on photosynthesis, i.e., a lower net photosynthetic rate, fewer photosynthetic pigments, and a smaller Fv/Fm ratio at increasingly higher monosulfuron concentrations (0.001-10 mg/l) for three nonspecific filamentous nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria: Anabaena azollae, A. flos-aquae, and A. azotica. The decrease in biliprotein of algal cells was less than that of carotenoid and chlorophyll-a. Monosulfuron was more readily degraded and less accumulated in A. azotica compared with A. azollae and A. flos-aquae. The three algae exhibited varying degrees of sensitivity to monosulfuron: Calculated 50% inhibition concentrations (IC(50)s) of algal growth and no observed-effect concentration (NOEC) values after 4 days of treatment were 0.014 and 0.005, 0.029 and 0.019, and 0.22 and 0.075 mg/l for A. flos-aquae, A. azollae, and A. azotica, respectively. Normal agricultural use of monosulfuron at postemergence rates of 0.3-0.8 mg/l in rice fields will likely be toxic to these three ubiquitous nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria. Low-dose monosulfuron application (<0.1 mg/l) enables growth of the more tolerant A. azotica as biofertilizer, and the use of photosynthetic efficiency and growth rates as sensitive-indicator indexes of toxicity to nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria are recommended. PMID:20437038

  11. Studies on the activating enzyme for iron protein of nitrogenase from Rhodospirillum rubrum.

    PubMed

    Saari, L L; Pope, M R; Murrell, S A; Ludden, P W

    1986-04-15

    Removal of ADP-ribose from the iron protein of nitrogenase by activating enzyme resulted in the activation of the inactive iron protein. A radioassay that directly measured the initial velocity of the activation was developed using iron protein radiolabeled with either [8-3H]- or [G-32P]ADP-ribose. The release of radiolabeled ADP-ribose by activating enzyme was linearly correlated with the increase in the specific activity of the iron protein as measured by acetylene reduction. Both ATP and MnCl2 were required for the activation of inactive iron protein. The optimal ratio of [MnCl2]/[ATP] in the radioassay was 2:1, and the optimal concentrations were 4 mM and 2 mM for [MnCl2] and [ATP], respectively. The Km for inactive iron protein was 74 microM and the Vmax was 628 pmol of [32P] ADP-ribose released min-1 microgram of activating enzyme-1. Adenosine, cytidine, guanosine, or uridine mono-, di-, or triphosphates did not substitute for ATP in the activation of native iron protein. Activating enzyme removed ADP-ribose from oxygen-denatured iron protein in the absence of ATP. ADP, ADP-ribose, pyrophosphate, and high concentrations of NaCl inhibited activating enzyme activity. PMID:3082874

  12. Membrane Sequestration of PII Proteins and Nitrogenase Regulation in the Photosynthetic Bacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus▿

    PubMed Central

    Tremblay, Pier-Luc; Drepper, Thomas; Masepohl, Bernd; Hallenbeck, Patrick C.

    2007-01-01

    Both Rhodobacter capsulatus PII homologs GlnB and GlnK were found to be necessary for the proper regulation of nitrogenase activity and modification in response to an ammonium shock. As previously reported for several other bacteria, ammonium addition triggered the AmtB-dependent association of GlnK with the R. capsulatus membrane. Native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis indicates that the modification/demodification of one PII homolog is aberrant in the absence of the other. In a glnK mutant, more GlnB was found to be membrane associated under these conditions. In a glnB mutant, GlnK fails to be significantly sequestered by AmtB, even though it appears to be fully deuridylylated. Additionally, the ammonium-induced enhanced sequestration by AmtB of the unmodifiable GlnK variant GlnK-Y51F follows the wild-type GlnK pattern with a high level in the cytoplasm without the addition of ammonium and an increased level in the membrane fraction after ammonium treatment. These results suggest that factors other than PII modification are driving its association with AmtB in the membrane in R. capsulatus. PMID:17586647

  13. Ammonia formation by a thiolate-bridged diiron amide complex as a nitrogenase mimic.

    PubMed

    Li, Yang; Li, Ying; Wang, Baomin; Luo, Yi; Yang, Dawei; Tong, Peng; Zhao, Jinfeng; Luo, Lun; Zhou, Yuhan; Chen, Si; Cheng, Fang; Qu, Jingping

    2013-04-01

    Although nitrogenase enzymes routinely convert molecular nitrogen into ammonia under ambient temperature and pressure, this reaction is currently carried out industrially using the Haber-Bosch process, which requires extreme temperatures and pressures to activate dinitrogen. Biological fixation occurs through dinitrogen and reduced NxHy species at multi-iron centres of compounds bearing sulfur ligands, but it is difficult to elucidate the mechanistic details and to obtain stable model intermediate complexes for further investigation. Metal-based synthetic models have been applied to reveal partial details, although most models involve a mononuclear system. Here, we report a diiron complex bridged by a bidentate thiolate ligand that can accommodate HN=NH. Following reductions and protonations, HN=NH is converted to NH3 through pivotal intermediate complexes bridged by N2H3(-) and NH2(-) species. Notably, the final ammonia release was effected with water as the proton source. Density functional theory calculations were carried out, and a pathway of biological nitrogen fixation is proposed. PMID:23511421

  14. Characterization of a Radical Intermediate in Lipoyl Cofactor Biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Lanz, Nicholas D; Rectenwald, Justin M; Wang, Bo; Kakar, Elizabeth S; Laremore, Tatiana N; Booker, Squire J; Silakov, Alexey

    2015-10-21

    Lipoyl synthase (LipA) catalyzes the final step in the biosynthesis of the lipoyl cofactor, the insertion of two sulfur atoms at C6 and C8 of an n-octanoyl chain. LipA is a member of the radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) superfamily of enzymes and uses two [4Fe-4S] clusters to catalyze its transformation. One cluster binds in contact with SAM and donates the requisite electron for the reductive cleavage of SAM to generate two 5'-deoxyadenosyl 5'-radicals, which abstract hydrogen atoms from C6 and C8 of the substrate. By contrast, the second, auxiliary [4Fe-4S] cluster, has been hypothesized to serve as the sulfur donor in the reaction. Such a sacrificial role for an iron-sulfur cluster during catalysis has not been universally accepted. Use of a conjugated 2,4-hexadienoyl-containing substrate analogue has allowed the substrate radical to be trapped and characterized by continuous-wave and pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance methods. Here we report the observation of a (57)Fe hyperfine coupling interaction with the paramagnetic signal, which indicates that the iron-sulfur cluster of LipA and its substrate are within bonding distance. PMID:26390103

  15. Sulphur shuttling across a chaperone during molybdenum cofactor maturation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnoux, Pascal; Ruppelt, Christian; Oudouhou, Flore; Lavergne, Jérôme; Siponen, Marina I.; Toci, René; Mendel, Ralf R.; Bittner, Florian; Pignol, David; Magalon, Axel; Walburger, Anne

    2015-02-01

    Formate dehydrogenases (FDHs) are of interest as they are natural catalysts that sequester atmospheric CO2, generating reduced carbon compounds with possible uses as fuel. FDHs activity in Escherichia coli strictly requires the sulphurtransferase EcFdhD, which likely transfers sulphur from IscS to the molybdenum cofactor (Mo-bisPGD) of FDHs. Here we show that EcFdhD binds Mo-bisPGD in vivo and has submicromolar affinity for GDP—used as a surrogate of the molybdenum cofactor’s nucleotide moieties. The crystal structure of EcFdhD in complex with GDP shows two symmetrical binding sites located on the same face of the dimer. These binding sites are connected via a tunnel-like cavity to the opposite face of the dimer where two dynamic loops, each harbouring two functionally important cysteine residues, are present. On the basis of structure-guided mutagenesis, we propose a model for the sulphuration mechanism of Mo-bisPGD where the sulphur atom shuttles across the chaperone dimer.

  16. Relocalization of human chromatin remodeling cofactor TIP48 in mitosis

    SciTech Connect

    Sigala, Barbara; Edwards, Mina; Puri, Teena; Tsaneva, Irina R. . E-mail: tsaneva@biochem.ucl.ac.uk

    2005-11-01

    TIP48 is a highly conserved eukaryotic AAA{sup +} protein which is an essential cofactor for several complexes involved in chromatin acetylation and remodeling, transcriptional and developmental regulation and nucleolar organization and trafficking. We show that TIP48 abundance in HeLa cells did not change during the cell cycle, nor did its distribution in various biochemical fractions. However, we observed distinct changes in the subcellular localization of TIP48 during M phase using immunofluorescence microscopy. Our studies demonstrate that in interphase cells TIP48 was found mainly in the nucleus and exhibited a distinct localization in the nuclear periphery. As the cells entered mitosis, TIP48 was excluded from the condensing chromosomes but showed association with the mitotic apparatus. During anaphase, some TIP48 was detected in the centrosome colocalizing with tubulin but the strongest staining appeared in the mitotic equator associated with the midzone central spindle. Accumulation of TIP48 in the midzone and the midbody was observed in late telophase and cytokinesis. This redeployment of TIP48 during anaphase and cytokinesis was independent of microtubule assembly. The relocation of endogenous TIP48 to the midzone/midbody under physiological conditions suggests a novel and distinct function for TIP48 in mitosis and possible involvement in the exit of mitosis.

  17. Elicitors and co-factors in food-induced anaphylaxis in adults

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Food-induced anaphylaxis (FIA) in adults is often insufficiently diagnosed. One reason is related to the presence of co-factors like exercise, alcohol, additives and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The objective of this analysis was to retrospectively investigate the role of co-factors in patients with FIA. 93 adult patients with suspected FIA underwent double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenges with suspected allergens and co-factors. The elicitors of anaphylaxis were identified in 44/93 patients. 27 patients reacted to food allergens upon challenge, 15 patients reacted only when a co-factor was co-exposed with the allergen. The most common identified allergens were celery (n = 7), soy, wheat (n = 4 each) and lupine (n = 3). Among the co-factors food additives (n = 8) and physical exercise (n = 6) were most frequent. In 10 patients more than one co-factor and/or more than one food allergen was necessary to elicit a positive reaction. The implementation of co-factors into the challenge protocol increases the identification rate of elicitors in adult food anaphylactic patients. PMID:24262093

  18. In vitro biosynthesis of iron-molybdenum cofactor and maturation of the nif-encoded apodinitrogenase. Effect of substitution for NifH with site-specifically altered forms of NifH.

    PubMed

    Rangaraj, P; Ryle, M J; Lanzilotta, W N; Ludden, P W; Shah, V K

    1999-07-01

    NifH has three different roles in the nitrogenase enzyme system. Apart from serving as the physiological electron donor to dinitrogenase, NifH is involved in iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMo-co) biosynthesis and in maturation of the FeMo-co-deficient form of apodinitrogenase to a FeMo-co-activable form (apodinitrogenase maturation). The exact roles of NifH in these processes are not well understood. In the present study, the features of NifH required for the aforementioned processes have been investigated by the use of site-specifically altered forms of the enzyme. The ability of six altered forms of NifH inactive in substrate reduction (K15R, D39N, D43N, L127Delta, D129E, and F135Y) to function in in vitro FeMo-co synthesis and apodinitrogenase maturation reactions was investigated. We report that the ability of NifH to bind and not hydrolyze MgATP is required for it to function in these processes. We also present evidence that the ability of NifH to function in these processes is not dictated by the properties known to be required for its function in electron transfer to dinitrogenase. Evidence toward the existence of separate, overlapping sites on NifH for each of its functions (substrate reduction, FeMo-co biosynthesis, and apodinitrogenase maturation) is presented. PMID:10391920

  19. The hydrogen chemistry of the FeMo-co active site of nitrogenase.

    PubMed

    Dance, Ian

    2005-08-10

    The chemical mechanism by which nitrogenase enzymes catalyze the hydrogenation of N(2) (and other multiply bonded substrates) at the N(c)Fe(7)MoS(9)(homocitrate) active site (FeMo-co) is unknown, despite the accumulation of much data on enzyme reactivity and the influences of key amino acids surrounding FeMo-co. The mutual influences of H(2), substrates, and the inhibitor CO on reactivity are key experimental tests for postulated mechanisms. Fundamental to all aspects of mechanism is the accumulation of H atoms (from e(-) + H(+)) on FeMo-co, and the generation and influences of coordinated H(2). Here, I argue that the first introduction of H is via a water chain terminating at water 679 (PDB structure , Azotobacter vinelandii) to one of the mu(3)-S atoms (S3B) of FeMo-co. Next, using validated density functional calculations of a full chemical representation of FeMo-co and its connected residues (alpha-275(Cys), alpha-442(His)), I have characterized more than 80 possibilities for the coordination of up to three H atoms, and H(2), and H + H(2), on the S2A, Fe2, S2B, Fe6, S3B domain of FeMo-co, which is favored by recent targeted mutagenesis results. Included are calculated reaction profiles for movements of H atoms (between S and Fe, and between Fe and Fe), for the generation of Fe-H(2), for association and dissociation of Fe-H(2) at various reduction levels, and for H/H(2) exchange. This is new hydrogen chemistry on an unprecedented coordination frame, with some similarities to established hydrogen coordination chemistry, and with unexpected and unprecedented structures such as Fe(S)(3)(H(2))(2)(H) octahedral coordination. General principles for the hydrogen chemistry of FeMo-co include (1) the stereochemical mobility of H bound to mu(3)-S, (2) the differentiated endo- and exo- positions at Fe for coordination of H and/or H(2), and (3) coordinative allosteric influences in which structural and dynamic aspects of coordination at one Fe atom are affected by

  20. The Uptake Hydrogenase in the Unicellular Diazotrophic Cyanobacterium Cyanothece sp. Strain PCC 7822 Protects Nitrogenase from Oxygen Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaohui; Sherman, Debra M.

    2014-01-01

    Cyanothece sp. strain PCC 7822 is a unicellular, diazotrophic cyanobacterium that can produce large quantities of H2 when grown diazotrophically. This strain is also capable of genetic manipulations and can represent a good model for improving H2 production from cyanobacteria. To this end, a knockout mutation was made in the hupL gene (ΔhupL), and we determined how this would affect the amount of H2 produced. The ΔhupL mutant demonstrated virtually no nitrogenase activity or H2 production when grown under N2-fixing conditions. To ensure that this mutation only affected the hupL gene, a complementation strain was constructed readily with wild-type properties; this indicated that the original insertion was only in hupL. The mutant had no uptake hydrogenase activity but had increased bidirectional hydrogenase (Hox) activity. Western blotting and immunocytochemistry under the electron microscope indicated that the mutant had neither HupL nor NifHDK, although the nif genes were transcribed. Interestingly, biochemical analysis demonstrated that both HupL and NifH could be membrane associated. The results indicated that the nif genes were transcribed but that NifHDK was either not translated or was translated but rapidly degraded. We hypothesized that the Nif proteins were made but were unusually susceptible to O2 damage. Thus, we grew the mutant cells under anaerobic conditions and found that they grew well under N2-fixing conditions. We conclude that in unicellular diazotrophs, like Cyanothece sp. strain PCC 7822, the HupLS complex helps remove oxygen from the nitrogenase, and that this is a more important function than merely oxidizing the H2 produced by the nitrogenase. PMID:24317398

  1. Transcriptional and translational regulation of nitrogenase in light-dark- and continuous-light-grown cultures of the unicellular cyanobacterium Cyanothece sp. strain ATCC 51142.

    PubMed Central

    Colón-López, M S; Sherman, D M; Sherman, L A

    1997-01-01

    Cyanothece sp. strain ATCC 51142 is a unicellular, diazotrophic cyanobacterium which demonstrated extensive metabolic periodicities of photosynthesis, respiration, and nitrogen fixation when grown under N2-fixing conditions. N2 fixation and respiration peaked at 24-h intervals early in the dark or subjective-dark period, whereas photosynthesis was approximately 12 h out of phase and peaked toward the end of the light or subjective-light phase. Gene regulation studies demonstrated that nitrogenase is carefully controlled at the transcriptional and posttranslational levels. Indeed, Cyanothece sp. strain ATCC 51142 has developed an expensive mode of regulation, such that nitrogenase was synthesized and degraded each day. These patterns were seen when cells were grown under either light-dark or continuous-light conditions. Nitrogenase mRNA was synthesized from the nifHDK operon during the first 4 h of the dark period under light-dark conditions or during the first 6 h of the subjective-dark period when grown in continuous light. The nitrogenase NifH and NifDK subunits reached a maximum level at 4 to 10 h in the dark or subjective-dark periods and were shown by Western blotting and electron microscopy immunocytochemistry to be thoroughly degraded toward the end of the dark periods. An exception is the NifDK protein (MoFe-protein), which appeared not to be completely degraded under continuous-light conditions. We hypothesize that cellular O2 levels were kept low by decreasing photosynthesis and by increasing respiration in the early dark or subjective-dark periods to permit nitrogenase activity. The subsequent increase in O2 levels resulted in nitrogenase damage and eventual degradation. PMID:9209050

  2. Temporal patterns of nitrogenase gene (nifH) expression in the oligotrophic North Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Church, Matthew J; Short, Cindy M; Jenkins, Bethany D; Karl, David M; Zehr, Jonathan P

    2005-09-01

    Dinitrogen (N(2))-fixing microorganisms (diazotrophs) play important roles in ocean biogeochemistry and plankton productivity. In this study, we examined the presence and expression of specific planktonic nitrogenase genes (nifH) in the upper ocean (0 to 175 m) at Station ALOHA in the oligotrophic North Pacific Ocean. Clone libraries constructed from reverse-transcribed PCR-amplified mRNA revealed six unique phylotypes. Five of the nifH phylotypes grouped with sequences from unicellular and filamentous cyanobacteria, and one of the phylotypes clustered with gamma-proteobacteria. The cyanobacterial nifH phylotypes retrieved included two sequence types that phylogenetically grouped with unicellular cyanobacteria (termed groups A and B), several sequences closely related (97 to 99%) to Trichodesmium spp. and Katagnymene spiralis, and two previously unreported phylotypes clustering with heterocyst-forming nifH cyanobacteria. Temporal patterns of nifH expression were evaluated using reverse-transcribed quantitative PCR amplification of nifH gene transcripts. The filamentous and presumed unicellular group A cyanobacterial phylotypes exhibited elevated nifH transcription during the day, while members of the group B (closely related to Crocosphaera watsonii) unicellular phylotype displayed greater nifH transcription at night. In situ nifH expression by all of the cyanobacterial phylotypes exhibited pronounced diel periodicity. The gamma-proteobacterial phylotype had low transcript abundance and did not exhibit a clear diurnal periodicity in nifH expression. The temporal separation of nifH expression by the various phylotypes suggests that open ocean diazotrophic cyanobacteria have unique in situ physiological responses to daily fluctuations of light in the upper ocean. PMID:16151126

  3. Regulation of Nitrogenase Gene Expression by Transcript Stability in the Cyanobacterium Anabaena variabilis

    PubMed Central

    Pratte, Brenda S.

    2014-01-01

    The nitrogenase gene cluster in cyanobacteria has been thought to comprise multiple operons; however, in Anabaena variabilis, the promoter for the first gene in the cluster, nifB1, appeared to be the primary promoter for the entire nif cluster. The structural genes nifHDK1 were the most abundant transcripts; however, their abundance was not controlled by an independent nifH1 promoter, but rather, by RNA processing, which produced a very stable nifH1 transcript and a moderately stable nifD1 transcript. There was also no separate promoter for nifEN1. In addition to the nifB1 promoter, there were weak promoters inside the nifU1 gene and inside the nifE1 gene, and both promoters were heterocyst specific. In an xisA mutant, which effectively separated promoters upstream of an 11-kb excision element in nifD1 from the downstream genes, the internal nifE1 promoter was functional. Transcription of the nif1 genes downstream of the 11-kb element, including the most distant genes, hesAB1 and fdxH1, was reduced in the xisA mutant, indicating that the nifB1 promoter contributed to their expression. However, with the exception of nifK1 and nifE1, which had no expression, the downstream genes showed low to moderate levels of transcription in the xisA mutant. The hesA1 gene also had a promoter, but the fdxH gene had a processing site just upstream of the gene. The processing of transcripts at sites upstream of nifH1 and fdxH1 correlated with increased stability of these transcripts, resulting in greater amounts than transcripts that were not close to processing sites. PMID:25092030

  4. Characterization of genes for an alternative nitrogenase in the cyanobacterium Anabaena variabilis.

    PubMed Central

    Thiel, T

    1993-01-01

    Anabaena variabilis ATCC 29413 is a heterotrophic, nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium that has been reported to fix nitrogen and reduce acetylene to ethane in the absence of molybdenum. DNA from this strain hybridized well at low stringency to the nitrogenase 2 (vnfDGK) genes of Azotobacter vinelandii. The hybridizing region was cloned from a lambda EMBL3 genomic library of A. variabilis, mapped, and sequenced. The deduced amino acid sequences of the vnfD and vnfK genes of A. variabilis showed only about 56% similarity to the nifDK genes of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 but were 76 to 86% similar to the anfDK or vnfDK genes of A. vinelandii. The organization of the vnf gene cluster in A. variabilis was similar to that of A. vinelandii. However, in A. variabilis, the vnfG gene was fused to vnfD; hence, this gene is designated vnfDG. A vnfH gene was not contiguous with the vnfDG gene and has not yet been identified. A mutant strain, in which a neomycin resistance cassette was inserted into the vnf cluster, grew well in a medium lacking a source of fixed nitrogen in the presence of molybdenum but grew poorly when vanadium replaced molybdenum. In contrast, the parent strain grew equally well in media containing either molybdenum or vanadium. The vnf genes were transcribed in the absence of molybdenum, with or without vanadium. The vnf gene cluster did not hybridize to chromosomal DNA from Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 or from the heterotrophic strains, Nostoc sp. strain Mac and Nostoc sp. strain ATCC 29150. A hybridizing ClaI fragment very similar in size to the A. variabilis ClaI fragment was present in DNA isolated from several independent, cultured isolates of Anabaena sp. from the Azolla symbiosis. Images PMID:8407800

  5. Regulation of nitrogenase gene expression by transcript stability in the cyanobacterium Anabaena variabilis.

    PubMed

    Pratte, Brenda S; Thiel, Teresa

    2014-10-01

    The nitrogenase gene cluster in cyanobacteria has been thought to comprise multiple operons; however, in Anabaena variabilis, the promoter for the first gene in the cluster, nifB1, appeared to be the primary promoter for the entire nif cluster. The structural genes nifHDK1 were the most abundant transcripts; however, their abundance was not controlled by an independent nifH1 promoter, but rather, by RNA processing, which produced a very stable nifH1 transcript and a moderately stable nifD1 transcript. There was also no separate promoter for nifEN1. In addition to the nifB1 promoter, there were weak promoters inside the nifU1 gene and inside the nifE1 gene, and both promoters were heterocyst specific. In an xisA mutant, which effectively separated promoters upstream of an 11-kb excision element in nifD1 from the downstream genes, the internal nifE1 promoter was functional. Transcription of the nif1 genes downstream of the 11-kb element, including the most distant genes, hesAB1 and fdxH1, was reduced in the xisA mutant, indicating that the nifB1 promoter contributed to their expression. However, with the exception of nifK1 and nifE1, which had no expression, the downstream genes showed low to moderate levels of transcription in the xisA mutant. The hesA1 gene also had a promoter, but the fdxH gene had a processing site just upstream of the gene. The processing of transcripts at sites upstream of nifH1 and fdxH1 correlated with increased stability of these transcripts, resulting in greater amounts than transcripts that were not close to processing sites. PMID:25092030

  6. Sucrose Octasulfate Selectively Accelerates Thrombin Inactivation by Heparin Cofactor II*

    PubMed Central

    Sarilla, Suryakala; Habib, Sally Y.; Kravtsov, Dmitri V.; Matafonov, Anton; Gailani, David; Verhamme, Ingrid M.

    2010-01-01

    Inactivation of thrombin (T) by the serpins heparin cofactor II (HCII) and antithrombin (AT) is accelerated by a heparin template between the serpin and thrombin exosite II. Unlike AT, HCII also uses an allosteric interaction of its NH2-terminal segment with exosite I. Sucrose octasulfate (SOS) accelerated thrombin inactivation by HCII but not AT by 2000-fold. SOS bound to two sites on thrombin, with dissociation constants (KD) of 10 ± 4 μm and 400 ± 300 μm that were not kinetically resolvable, as evidenced by single hyperbolic SOS concentration dependences of the inactivation rate (kobs). SOS bound HCII with KD 1.45 ± 0.30 mm, and this binding was tightened in the T·SOS·HCII complex, characterized by Kcomplex of ∼0.20 μm. Inactivation data were incompatible with a model solely depending on HCII·SOS but fit an equilibrium linkage model employing T·SOS binding in the pathway to higher order complex formation. Hirudin-(54–65)(SO3−) caused a hyperbolic decrease of the inactivation rates, suggesting partial competitive binding of hirudin-(54–65)(SO3−) and HCII to exosite I. Meizothrombin(des-fragment 1), binding SOS with KD = 1600 ± 300 μm, and thrombin were inactivated at comparable rates, and an exosite II aptamer had no effect on the inactivation, suggesting limited exosite II involvement. SOS accelerated inactivation of meizothrombin 1000-fold, reflecting the contribution of direct exosite I interaction with HCII. Thrombin generation in plasma was suppressed by SOS, both in HCII-dependent and -independent processes. The ex vivo HCII-dependent process may utilize the proposed model and suggests a potential for oversulfated disaccharides in controlling HCII-regulated thrombin generation. PMID:20053992

  7. HIV-1 evades innate immune recognition through specific cofactor recruitment.

    PubMed

    Rasaiyaah, Jane; Tan, Choon Ping; Fletcher, Adam J; Price, Amanda J; Blondeau, Caroline; Hilditch, Laura; Jacques, David A; Selwood, David L; James, Leo C; Noursadeghi, Mahdad; Towers, Greg J

    2013-11-21

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 is able to replicate in primary human macrophages without stimulating innate immunity despite reverse transcription of genomic RNA into double-stranded DNA, an activity that might be expected to trigger innate pattern recognition receptors. We reasoned that if correctly orchestrated HIV-1 uncoating and nuclear entry is important for evasion of innate sensors then manipulation of specific interactions between HIV-1 capsid and host factors that putatively regulate these processes should trigger pattern recognition receptors and stimulate type 1 interferon (IFN) secretion. Here we show that HIV-1 capsid mutants N74D and P90A, which are impaired for interaction with cofactors cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor subunit 6 (CPSF6) and cyclophilins (Nup358 and CypA), respectively, cannot replicate in primary human monocyte-derived macrophages because they trigger innate sensors leading to nuclear translocation of NF-κB and IRF3, the production of soluble type 1 IFN and induction of an antiviral state. Depletion of CPSF6 with short hairpin RNA expression allows wild-type virus to trigger innate sensors and IFN production. In each case, suppressed replication is rescued by IFN-receptor blockade, demonstrating a role for IFN in restriction. IFN production is dependent on viral reverse transcription but not integration, indicating that a viral reverse transcription product comprises the HIV-1 pathogen-associated molecular pattern. Finally, we show that we can pharmacologically induce wild-type HIV-1 infection to stimulate IFN secretion and an antiviral state using a non-immunosuppressive cyclosporine analogue. We conclude that HIV-1 has evolved to use CPSF6 and cyclophilins to cloak its replication, allowing evasion of innate immune sensors and induction of a cell-autonomous innate immune response in primary human macrophages. PMID:24196705

  8. A cofactor approach to copper-dependent catalytic antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Nicholas, Kenneth M.; Wentworth, Paul; Harwig, Curtis W.; Wentworth, Anita D.; Shafton, Asher; Janda, Kim D.

    2002-01-01

    A strategy for the preparation of semisynthetic copper(II)-based catalytic metalloproteins is described in which a metal-binding bis-imidazole cofactor is incorporated into the combining site of the aldolase antibody 38C2. Antibody 38C2 features a large hydrophobic-combining site pocket with a highly nucleophilic lysine residue, LysH93, that can be covalently modified. A comparison of several lactone and anhydride reagents shows that the latter are the most effective and general derivatizing agents for the 38C2 Lys residue. A bis-imidazole anhydride (5) was efficiently prepared from N-methyl imidazole. The 38C2–5-Cu conjugate was prepared by either (i) initial derivatization of 38C2 with 5 followed by metallation with CuCl2, or (ii) precoordination of 5 with CuCl2 followed by conjugation with 38C2. The resulting 38C2–5-Cu conjugate was an active catalyst for the hydrolysis of the coordinating picolinate ester 11, following Michaelis–Menten kinetics [kcat(11) = 2.3 min−1 and Km(11) 2.2 mM] with a rate enhancement [kcat(11)kuncat(11)] of 2.1 × 105. Comparison of the second-order rate constants of the modified 38C2 and the Cu(II)-bis-imidazolyl complex k(6-CuCl2) gives a rate enhancement of 3.5 × 104 in favor of the antibody complex with an effective molarity of 76.7 M, revealing a significant catalytic benefit to the binding of the bis-imidazolyl ligand into 38C2. PMID:11880619

  9. HIV-1 evades innate immune recognition through specific cofactor recruitment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasaiyaah, Jane; Tan, Choon Ping; Fletcher, Adam J.; Price, Amanda J.; Blondeau, Caroline; Hilditch, Laura; Jacques, David A.; Selwood, David L.; James, Leo C.; Noursadeghi, Mahdad; Towers, Greg J.

    2013-11-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 is able to replicate in primary human macrophages without stimulating innate immunity despite reverse transcription of genomic RNA into double-stranded DNA, an activity that might be expected to trigger innate pattern recognition receptors. We reasoned that if correctly orchestrated HIV-1 uncoating and nuclear entry is important for evasion of innate sensors then manipulation of specific interactions between HIV-1 capsid and host factors that putatively regulate these processes should trigger pattern recognition receptors and stimulate type 1 interferon (IFN) secretion. Here we show that HIV-1 capsid mutants N74D and P90A, which are impaired for interaction with cofactors cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor subunit 6 (CPSF6) and cyclophilins (Nup358 and CypA), respectively, cannot replicate in primary human monocyte-derived macrophages because they trigger innate sensors leading to nuclear translocation of NF-κB and IRF3, the production of soluble type 1 IFN and induction of an antiviral state. Depletion of CPSF6 with short hairpin RNA expression allows wild-type virus to trigger innate sensors and IFN production. In each case, suppressed replication is rescued by IFN-receptor blockade, demonstrating a role for IFN in restriction. IFN production is dependent on viral reverse transcription but not integration, indicating that a viral reverse transcription product comprises the HIV-1 pathogen-associated molecular pattern. Finally, we show that we can pharmacologically induce wild-type HIV-1 infection to stimulate IFN secretion and an antiviral state using a non-immunosuppressive cyclosporine analogue. We conclude that HIV-1 has evolved to use CPSF6 and cyclophilins to cloak its replication, allowing evasion of innate immune sensors and induction of a cell-autonomous innate immune response in primary human macrophages.

  10. Role of a ferredoxin gene cotranscribed with the nifHDK operon in N(2) fixation and nitrogenase "switch-off" of Azoarcus sp. strain BH72.

    PubMed

    Egener, T; Martin, D E; Sarkar, A; Reinhold-Hurek, B

    2001-06-01

    The endophytic diazotroph Azoarcus sp. strain BH72 is capable of infecting rice roots and of expressing the nitrogenase (nif) genes there. In order to study the genetic background for nitrogen fixation in strain BH72, the structural genes of nitrogenase (nifHDK) were cloned and sequenced. The sequence analysis revealed an unusual gene organization: downstream of nifHDK, a ferredoxin gene (fdxN; 59% amino acid sequence identity to R. capsulatus FdxN) and open reading frames showing 52 and 36% amino acid sequence identity to nifY of Pseudomonas stutzeri A15 and ORF1 of Azotobacter vinelandii were located. Northern blot analysis, reverse transcriptase PCR and primer extension analysis revealed that these six genes are located on one transcript transcribed from a sigma(54)-type promoter. Shorter transcripts sequentially missing genes of the 3' part of the full-length mRNA were more abundantly detected. Mutational analyses suggested that FdxN is an important but not the essential electron donor for dinitrogenase reductase. An in-frame deletion of fdxN resulted in reduced growth rates (59% +/- 9%) and nitrogenase activities (81%) in nitrogen-fixing pure cultures in comparison to the wild type. Nitrogenase activity was fully complemented in an fdxN mutant which carried a nifH promoter-driven fdxN gene in trans. Also, in coculture with the ascomycete Acremonium alternatum, where strain BH72 develops intracytoplasmic membrane stacks, the nitrogenase activity in the fdxN deletion mutant was decreased to 56% of the wild-type level. Surprisingly, the fdxN deletion also had an effect on the rapid "switch-off" of nitrogenase activity in response to ammonium. Wild-type strain BH72 and the deletion mutant complemented with fdxN in trans showed a rapid reversible inactivation of acetylene reduction, while the deletion mutant did not cease to reduce acetylene. In concordance with the hypothesis that changes in the redox state of NifH or electron flux towards nitrogenase may be