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Pia ÄdelrothProfessor in Biochemistry

Research


Bacterial respiration

In cellular respiration, reduction of a terminal electron acceptor is linked to the production of a transmembrane proton gradient, essential for the survival of the organism. The terminal electron acceptor oxygen is, in our own mitochondria, reduced by the proton-pumping enzyme cytochrome c oxidase, which belongs to the superfamily of heme-copper oxidases (HCuOs). This is a large and diverse superfamily that also has bacterial nitric oxide reductases (NOR) as a member. NORs form part of an anaerobic respiration pathway termed denitrification, where they reduce the toxic intermediate nitric oxide (NO) to nitrous oxide (N2O). NORs can also be used for detoxification of NO produced by human macrophages, and the C-type HCuOs are the only terminal oxidases present in some pathogens such as Helicobacter pylori. Thus, these enzymes can also be targeted for drug/antibiotics development. Our research aims at elucidating the structure-function relationship, assembly, cross-reactivity, energy conservation, proton transfer mechanisms and evolution of the NO and O2-reducing heme-copper oxidases.

We are also involved in a collaboration project on 'The obligate respiratory supercomplex of Actinobacteria' funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation, see:

https://www.dbb.su.se/our-research/research-projects/kaw-project-the-obligate-respiratory-supercomplex-of-actinobacteria

 

Group members

Johanna Vilhjalmsdottir, Postdoc

Sofia Appelgren, PhD student

Davinia Espejo, PhD student

Olga Fedotovskaya, PhD student

Mateusz Janczak, PhD student

Henrik Östbye, PhD student

 

Selected Publications

  • Fedotovskaya, O., Albertsson, I., Nordlund, G., Hong, S., Gennis, R. B., Brzezinski, P., Ädelroth, P. (2021) ‘Identification of a cytochrome bc1-aa3 supercomplex in Rhodobacter sphaeroidesBiochim. Biophys. Acta- Bioenergetics, 1862, 148433.
  • Zhou S, Pettersson, P, Huang, J, Brzezinski, P., Pomès, R., Mäler, L., Ädelroth, P. (2021) ‘NMR Structure and Dynamics Studies of Yeast Respiratory Supercomplex Factor 2’. Structure 29(3), 275-283.e4.
  • Albertsson, I., Sjöholm, J., ter Beek, J., Watmough, N. J., Widengren, J., and Ädelroth, P. (2019) Functional interactions between nitrite reductase and nitric oxide reductase from Paracoccus denitrificans, Sci. rep. 9, 17234.
  • Knopp, M., Gudmundsdottir, J. S., Nilsson, T., König, F., Warsi, O., Rajer, F., Ädelroth, P., and Andersson, D. I. (2019) ‘De Novo Emergence of Peptides That Confer Antibiotic Resistance’, mBio 10, e00837-00819.
  • Wiseman, B., Nitharwal, R. G., Fedotovskaya, O., Schäfer, J., Guo, H., Kuang, Q., Benlekbir, S., Sjöstrand, D., Ädelroth, P., Rubinstein, J. L., Brzezinski, P., Högbom, M. (2018) ‘Structure of a functional obligate respiratory supercomplex from Mycobacterium smegmatis’, Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol., 25, 1128-1136.
  • Kahle, M., ter Beek, J., Hosler, J.P., Ädelroth, P. (2018) ‘The insertion of the non-heme FeB cofactor into nitric oxide reductase from P. denitrificans depends on NorQ and NorD accessory proteins’, Biochim. Biophys. Acta – Bioenergetics, 1859, 1051.
  • Zhou, S., Pettersson, P., Huang, J., Sjöholm, J., Sjöstrand, D., Pomès, R., Högbom, M., Brzezinski, P., Mäler, L., and Ädelroth, P. (2018)Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 115, p. 3048-3053.
  • Gonska, N., Young, D., Yuki, R., Okamoto, T., Hisano, T., Antonyuk, S., Hasnain, S. S., Muramoto, K., Shiro, Y., Tosha, T., Ädelroth, P. (2018) ‘Characterization of the quinol-dependent nitric oxide reductase from the pathogen Neisseria meningitidis, an electrogenic enzyme’, Scientific Reports 8, 3637.
  • Poiana, F., von Ballmoos, C., Gonska, N., Blomberg, M., Ädelroth, P., and Brzezinski, P. (2017) ‘Splitting of the O-O Bond at the heme-copper catalytic site of respiratory oxidases’, Science Adv., 3, :e170027.
  • Bhagi-Damodaran, A., Kahle, M., Shi, Y., Zhang, Y., Ӓdelroth, P., and Lu, Y. (2017) ‘Insights into how heme reduction potential modulates enzymatic activities of a myoglobin-based functional oxidase’, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 56, 6622-6626.
  • Arjona, D., Wikström, M. and Ädelroth, P. (2015) ‘NO is a potent inhibitor of cbb3-type heme-copper oxidases’, FEBS Lett. 589, 1214–1218. 
  • Ahn, Y. O., Mahinthichaichan, P., Lee, H. J., Ouyang, H., Kaluka, D., Yeh, S. Arjona, D., Rousseau, D. L., Tajkhorshid, E., Ädelroth, P. and Gennis, R. B. (2014) ‘Conformational coupling between the active site and residues within the KC-channel of the Vibrio cholerae cbb3-type oxygen reductase’, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 111, E4419-E4428. 
  • ter Beek, J., Krause, N., Reimann, J., Lachmann, P., and Ädelroth, P. (2013) ‘The Nitric-Oxide reductase from Paracoccus denitrificans uses a single proton pathway’, J. Biol. Chem., 288, 30626-30635.

 

Funding Sources

Our studies are supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council (VR) and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation.

Publications

A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • An Engineered Glutamate in Biosynthetic Models of Heme-Copper Oxidases Drives Complete Product Selectivity by Tuning the Hydrogen-Bonding Network

    2021. Igor D. Petrik (et al.). Biochemistry 60 (4), 346-355

    Article

    Efficiently carrying out the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is critical for many applications in biology and chemistry, such as bioenergetics and fuel cells, respectively. In biology, this reaction is carried out by large, transmembrane oxidases such as heme-copper oxidases (HCOs) and cytochrome bd oxidases. Common to these oxidases is the presence of a glutamate residue next to the active site, but its precise role in regulating the oxidase activity remains unclear. To gain insight into its role, we herein report that incorporation of glutamate next to a designed heme-copper center in two biosynthetic models of HCOs improves O2 binding affinity, facilitates protonation of reaction intermediates, and eliminates release of reactive oxygen species. High-resolution crystal structures of the models revealed extended, water-mediated hydrogen-bonding networks involving the glutamate. Electron paramagnetic resonance of the cryoreduced oxy-ferrous centers at cryogenic temperature followed by thermal annealing allowed observation of the key hydroperoxo intermediate that can be attributed to the hydrogen-bonding network. By demonstrating these important roles of glutamate in oxygen reduction biochemistry, this work offers deeper insights into its role in native oxidases, which may guide the design of more efficient artificial ORR enzymes or catalysts for applications such as fuel cells.

    Read more about An Engineered Glutamate in Biosynthetic Models of Heme-Copper Oxidases Drives Complete Product Selectivity by Tuning the Hydrogen-Bonding Network
  • Identification of a cytochrome bc1-aa3 supercomplex in Rhodobacter sphaeroides

    2021. Olga Fedotovskaya (et al.). Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics 1862 (8)

    Article

    Respiration is carried out by a series of membrane-bound complexes in the inner mitochondrial membrane or in the cytoplasmic membrane of bacteria. Increasing evidence shows that these complexes organize into larger supercomplexes. In this work, we identified a supercomplex composed of cytochrome (cyt.) bc1 and aa3-type cyt. c oxidase in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. We purified the supercomplex using a His-tag on either of these complexes. The results from activity assays, native and denaturing PAGE, size exclusion chromatography, electron microscopy, optical absorption spectroscopy and kinetic studies on the purified samples support the formation and coupled quinol oxidation:O2 reduction activity of the cyt. bc1-aa3 supercomplex. The potential role of the membrane-anchored cyt. cy as a component in supercomplexes was also investigated.

    Read more about Identification of a cytochrome bc1-aa3 supercomplex in Rhodobacter sphaeroides
  • NMR Structure and Dynamics Studies of Yeast Respiratory Supercomplex Factor 2

    2021. Shu Zhou (et al.). Structure 29 (3), 275-283

    Article

    The Saccharomyces cerevisiae respiratory supercomplex factor 2 (Rcf2) is a 224-residue protein located in the mitochondrial inner membrane where it is involved in the formation of supercomplexes composed of cytochrome bc(1) and cytochrome c oxidase. We previously demonstrated that Rcf2 forms a dimer in dodecylphosphocholine micelles, and here we report the solution NMR structure of this Rcf2 dimer. Each Rcf2 monomer has two soluble alpha helices and five putative transmembrane (TM) alpha helices, including an unexpectedly charged TM helix at the C terminus, which mediates dimer formation. The NOE contacts indicate the presence of inter-monomer salt bridges and hydrogen bonds at the dimer interface, which stabilize the Rcf2 dimer structure. Moreover, NMR chemical shift change mapping upon lipid titrations as well as molecular dynamics analysis reveal possible structural changes upon embedding Rcf2 into a native lipid environment. Our results contribute to the understanding of respiratory supercomplex formation and regulation.

    Read more about NMR Structure and Dynamics Studies of Yeast Respiratory Supercomplex Factor 2
  • NMR structural analysis of the yeast cytochrome c oxidase subunit Cox13 and its interaction with ATP

    2021. Shu Zhou (et al.). BMC Biology 19 (1)

    Article

    Background: Mitochondrial respiration is organized in a series of enzyme complexes in turn forming dynamic supercomplexes. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker's yeast), Cox13 (CoxVIa in mammals) is a conserved peripheral subunit of Complex IV (cytochrome c oxidase, CytcO), localized at the interface of dimeric bovine CytcO, which has been implicated in the regulation of the complex.

    Results: Here, we report the solution NMR structure of Cox13, which forms a dimer in detergent micelles. Each Cox13 monomer has three short helices (SH), corresponding to disordered regions in X-ray or cryo-EM structures of homologous proteins. Dimer formation is mainly induced by hydrophobic interactions between the transmembrane (TM) helix of each monomer. Furthermore, an analysis of chemical shift changes upon addition of ATP revealed that ATP binds at a conserved region of the C terminus with considerable conformational flexibility.

    Conclusions: Together with functional analysis of purified CytcO, we suggest that this ATP interaction is inhibitory of catalytic activity. Our results shed light on the structural flexibility of an important subunit of yeast CytcO and provide structure-based insight into how ATP could regulate mitochondrial respiration.

    Read more about NMR structural analysis of the yeast cytochrome c oxidase subunit Cox13 and its interaction with ATP
  • Structure and Mechanism of Respiratory III-IV Supercomplexes in Bioenergetic Membranes

    2021. Peter Brzezinski, Agnes Moe, Pia Ädelroth. Chemical Reviews 121 (15), 9644-9673

    Article

    In the final steps of energy conservation in aerobic organisms, free energy from electron transfer through the respiratory chain is transduced into a proton electrochemical gradient across a membrane. In mitochondria and many bacteria, reduction of the dioxygen electron acceptor is catalyzed by cytochrome c oxidase (complex IV), which receives electrons from cytochrome bc(1) (complex III), via membrane-bound or watersoluble cytochrome c. These complexes function independently, but in many organisms they associate to form supercomplexes. Here, we review the structural features and the functional significance of the nonobligate III2IV1/2 Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondrial super-complex as well as the obligate III2IV2 supercomplex from actinobacteria. The analysis is centered around the Q-cycle of complex III, proton uptake by CytcO, as well as mechanistic and structural solutions to the electronic link between complexes III and IV.

    Read more about Structure and Mechanism of Respiratory III-IV Supercomplexes in Bioenergetic Membranes
  • Membrane tethering of cytochrome c accelerates apoptotic cell death in yeast

    2020. Alexandra Toth (et al.). Cell Death and Disease 11 (9)

    Article

    Intrinsic apoptosis as a modality of regulated cell death is intimately linked to permeabilization of the outer mitochondrial membrane and subsequent release of the protein cytochrome c into the cytosol, where it can participate in caspase activation via apoptosome formation. Interestingly, cytochrome c release is an ancient feature of regulated cell death even in unicellular eukaryotes that do not contain an apoptosome. Therefore, it was speculated that cytochrome c release might have an additional, more fundamental role for cell death signalling, because its absence from mitochondria disrupts oxidative phosphorylation. Here, we permanently anchored cytochrome c with a transmembrane segment to the inner mitochondrial membrane of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, thereby inhibiting its release from mitochondria during regulated cell death. This cytochrome c retains respiratory growth and correct assembly of mitochondrial respiratory chain supercomplexes. However, membrane anchoring leads to a sensitisation to acetic acid-induced cell death and increased oxidative stress, a compensatory elevation of cellular oxygen-consumption in aged cells and a decreased chronological lifespan. We therefore conclude that loss of cytochrome c from mitochondria during regulated cell death and the subsequent disruption of oxidative phosphorylation is not required for efficient execution of cell death in yeast, and that mobility of cytochrome c within the mitochondrial intermembrane space confers a fitness advantage that overcomes a potential role in regulated cell death signalling in the absence of an apoptosome.

    Read more about Membrane tethering of cytochrome c accelerates apoptotic cell death in yeast
  • De Novo Emergence of Peptides That Confer Antibiotic Resistance

    2019. Michael Knopp (et al.). mBio 10 (3)

    Article

    The origin of novel genes and beneficial functions is of fundamental interest in evolutionary biology. New genes can originate from different mechanisms, including horizontal gene transfer, duplication-divergence, and de novo from non-coding DNA sequences. Comparative genomics has generated strong evidence for de novo emergence of genes in various organisms, but experimental demonstration of this process has been limited to localized randomization in preexisting structural scaffolds. This bypasses the basic requirement of de novo gene emergence, i.e., lack of an ancestral gene. We constructed highly diverse plasmid libraries encoding randomly generated open reading frames and expressed them in Escherichia coli to identify short peptides that could confer a beneficial and selectable phenotype in vivo (in a living cell). Selections on antibiotic-containing agar plates resulted in the identification of three peptides that increased aminoglycoside resistance up to 48-fold. Combining genetic and functional analyses, we show that the peptides are highly hydrophobic, and by inserting into the membrane, they reduce membrane potential, decrease aminoglycoside uptake, and thereby confer high-level resistance. This study demonstrates that randomized DNA sequences can encode peptides that confer selective benefits and illustrates how expression of random sequences could spark the origination of new genes. In addition, our results also show that this question can be addressed experimentally by expression of highly diverse sequence libraries and subsequent selection for specific functions, such as resistance to toxic compounds, the ability to rescue auxotrophic/temperature-sensitive mutants, and growth on normally nonused carbon sources, allowing the exploration of many different phenotypes. IMPORTANCE De novo gene origination from nonfunctional DNA sequences was long assumed to be implausible. However, recent studies have shown that large fractions of genomic noncoding DNA are transcribed and translated, potentially generating new genes. Experimental validation of this process so far has been limited to comparative genomics, in vitro selections, or partial randomizations. Here, we describe selection of novel peptides in vivo using fully random synthetic expression libraries. The peptides confer aminoglycoside resistance by inserting into the bacterial membrane and thereby partly reducing membrane potential and decreasing drug uptake. Our results show that beneficial peptides can be selected from random sequence pools in vivo and support the idea that expression of noncoding sequences could spark the origination of new genes.

    Read more about De Novo Emergence of Peptides That Confer Antibiotic Resistance
  • Functional interactions between nitrite reductase and nitric oxide reductase from Paracoccus denitrificans

    2019. Ingrid Albertsson (et al.). Scientific Reports 9

    Article

    Denitrification is a microbial pathway that constitutes an important part of the nitrogen cycle on earth. Denitrifying organisms use nitrate as a terminal electron acceptor and reduce it stepwise to nitrogen gas, a process that produces the toxic nitric oxide (NO) molecule as an intermediate. In this work, we have investigated the possible functional interaction between the enzyme that produces NO; the cd(1) nitrite reductase (cd(1)NiR) and the enzyme that reduces NO; the c-type nitric oxide reductase (cNOR), from the model soil bacterium P. denitrificans. Such an interaction was observed previously between purified components from P. aeruginosa and could help channeling the NO (directly from the site of formation to the side of reduction), in order to protect the cell from this toxic intermediate. We find that electron donation to cNOR is inhibited in the presence of cd(1)NiR, presumably because cd(1)NiR binds cNOR at the same location as the electron donor. We further find that the presence of cNOR influences the dimerization of cd(1)NiR. Overall, although we find no evidence for a high-affinity, constant interaction between the two enzymes, our data supports transient interactions between cd(1)NiR and cNOR that influence enzymatic properties of cNOR and oligomerization properties of cd(1)NiR. We speculate that this could be of particular importance in vivo during metabolic switches between aerobic and denitrifying conditions.

    Read more about Functional interactions between nitrite reductase and nitric oxide reductase from Paracoccus denitrificans
  • Insights into the mechanism of nitric oxide reductase from a Fe-B-depleted variant

    2019. Maximilian Kahle (et al.). FEBS Letters 593 (12), 1351-1359

    Article

    A key step of denitrification, the reduction of toxic nitric oxide to nitrous oxide, is catalysed by cytochrome c-dependent NO reductase (cNOR). cNOR contains four redox-active cofactors: three hemes and a nonheme iron (Fe-B). Heme b(3) and Fe-B constitute the active site, but the specific mechanism of NO-binding events and reduction is under debate. Here, we used a recently constructed, fully folded and hemylated cNOR variant that lacks Fe-B to investigate the role of Fe-B during catalysis. We show that in the Fe-B-less cNOR, binding of both NO and O-2 to heme b(3) still occurs but further reduction is impaired, although to a lesser degree for O-2 than for NO. Implications for the catalytic mechanisms of cNOR are discussed.

    Read more about Insights into the mechanism of nitric oxide reductase from a Fe-B-depleted variant
  • Characterization of the quinol-dependent nitric oxide reductase from the pathogen Neisseria meningitidis, an electrogenic enzyme

    2018. Nathalie Gonska (et al.). Scientific Reports 8

    Article

    Bacterial nitric oxide reductases (NORs) catalyse the reduction of NO to N2O and H2O. NORs are found either in denitrification chains, or in pathogens where their primary role is detoxification of NO produced by the immune defense of the host. Although NORs belong to the heme-copper oxidase superfamily, comprising proton-pumping O-2-reducing enzymes, the best studied NORs, cNORs (cytochrome c-dependent), are non-electrogenic. Here, we focus on another type of NOR, qNOR (quinol-dependent). Recombinant qNOR from Neisseria meningitidis, a human pathogen, purified from Escherichia coli, showed high catalytic activity and spectroscopic properties largely similar to cNORs. However, in contrast to cNOR, liposome-reconstituted qNOR showed respiratory control ratios above two, indicating that NO reduction by qNOR was electrogenic. Further, we determined a 4.5 angstrom crystal structure of the N. meningitidis qNOR, allowing exploration of a potential proton transfer pathway from the cytoplasm by mutagenesis. Most mutations had little effect on the activity, however the E-498 variants were largely inactive, while the corresponding substitution in cNOR was previously shown not to induce significant effects. We thus suggest that, contrary to cNOR, the N. meningitidis qNOR uses cytoplasmic protons for NO reduction. Our results allow possible routes for protons to be discussed.

    Read more about Characterization of the quinol-dependent nitric oxide reductase from the pathogen Neisseria meningitidis, an electrogenic enzyme
  • Extraction and liposome reconstitution of membrane proteins with their native lipids without the use of detergents

    2018. Irina A. Smirnova, Pia Ädelroth, Peter Brzezinski. Scientific Reports 8

    Article

    Functional studies of membrane-bound channels, transporters or signal transducers require that the protein of interest resides in a membrane that separates two compartments. One approach that is commonly used to prepare these systems is to reconstitute the protein in liposomes. An intermediate step of this method is purification of the protein, which typically involves solubilization of the native membrane using detergent. The use of detergents often results in removal of lipids surrounding the protein, which may alter its structure and function. Here, we have employed a method for isolation of membrane proteins with a disc of their native lipids to develop an approach that allows transfer of the purified membrane protein to liposomes without the use of any detergents.

    Read more about Extraction and liposome reconstitution of membrane proteins with their native lipids without the use of detergents
  • Mechanism of proton transfer through the K-C proton pathway in the Vibrio cholerae cbb(3) terminal oxidase

    2018. Young O. Ahn (et al.). Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics 1859 (11), 1191-1198

    Article

    The heme-copper oxidases (HCuOs) are terminal components of the respiratory chain, catalyzing oxygen reduction coupled to the generation of a proton motive force. The C-family HCuOs, found in many pathogenic bacteria under low oxygen tension, utilize a single proton uptake pathway to deliver protons both for O-2 reduction and for proton pumping. This pathway, called the K-C-pathway, starts at Glu-49(P) in the accessory subunit CcoP, and connects into the catalytic subunit CcoN via the polar residues Tyr-(Y)-227, Asn (N)-293, Ser (S)-244, Tyr (Y)-321 and internal water molecules, and continues to the active site. However, although the residues are known to be functionally important, little is known about the mechanism and dynamics of proton transfer in the Kc-pathway. Here, we studied variants of Y227, N293 and Y321. Our results show that in the N293L variant, proton-coupled electron transfer is slowed during single-turnover oxygen reduction, and moreover it shows a pH dependence that is not observed in wildtype. This suggests that there is a shift in the plc, of an internal proton donor into an experimentally accessible range, from > 10 in wildtype to similar to 8.8 in N293L. Furthermore, we show that there are distinct roles for the conserved Y321 and Y227. In Y321F, proton uptake from bulk solution is greatly impaired, whereas Y227F shows wildtype-like rates and retains similar to 50% turnover activity. These tyrosines have evolutionary counterparts in the K-pathway of B-family HCuOs, but they do not have the same roles, indicating diversity in the proton transfer dynamics in the HCuO superfamily.

    Read more about Mechanism of proton transfer through the K-C proton pathway in the Vibrio cholerae cbb(3) terminal oxidase
  • Mechanisms for enzymatic reduction of nitric oxide to nitrous oxide - A comparison between nitric oxide reductase and cytochrome c oxidase

    2018. Margareta R. A. Blomberg, Pia Ädelroth. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics 1859 (11), 1223-1234

    Article

    Cytochrome c oxidases (CcO) reduce O-2 to H2O in the respiratory chain of mitochondria and many aerobic bacteria. In addition, some species of CcO can also reduce NO to N2O and water while others cannot. Here, the mechanism for NO-reduction in CcO is investigated using quantum mechanical calculations. Comparison is made to the corresponding reaction in a true cytochrome c-dependent NO reductase (cNOR). The calculations show that in cNOR, where the reduction potentials are low, the toxic NO molecules are rapidly reduced, while the higher reduction potentials in CcO lead to a slower or even impossible reaction, consistent with experimental observations. In both enzymes the reaction is initiated by addition of two NO molecules to the reduced active site, forming a hyponitrite intermediate. In cNOR, N2O can then be formed using only the active-site electrons. In contrast, in CcO, one proton-coupled reduction step most likely has to occur before N2O can be formed, and furthermore, proton transfer is most likely rate-limiting. This can explain why different CcO species with the same heme alpha(3)-Cu active site differ with respect to NO reduction efficiency, since they have a varying number and/or properties of proton channels. Finally, the calculations also indicate that a conserved active site valine plays a role in reducing the rate of NO reduction in CcO.

    Read more about Mechanisms for enzymatic reduction of nitric oxide to nitrous oxide - A comparison between nitric oxide reductase and cytochrome c oxidase
  • NMR Study of Rcf2 Reveals an Unusual Dimeric Topology in Detergent Micelles

    2018. Shu Zhou (et al.). ChemBioChem (Print) 19 (5), 444-447

    Article

    The Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondrial respiratory supercomplex factor2 (Rcf2) plays a role in assembly of supercomplexes composed of cytochromebc(1) (complexIII) and cytochromec oxidase (complexIV). We expressed the Rcf2 protein in Escherichia coli, refolded it, and reconstituted it into dodecylphosphocholine (DPC) micelles. The structural properties of Rcf2 were studied by solution NMR, and near complete backbone assignment of Rcf2 was achieved. The secondary structure of Rcf2 contains seven helices, of which five are putative transmembrane (TM) helices, including, unexpectedly, a region formed by a charged 20-residue helix at the Cterminus. Further studies demonstrated that Rcf2 forms a dimer, and the charged TM helix is involved in this dimer formation. Our results provide a basis for understanding the role of this assembly/regulatory factor in supercomplex formation and function.

    Read more about NMR Study of Rcf2 Reveals an Unusual Dimeric Topology in Detergent Micelles
  • Regulation of cytochrome c oxidase activity by modulation of the catalytic site

    2018. Jacob Schäfer (et al.). Scientific Reports 8

    Article

    The respiratory supercomplex factor 1 (Rcf 1) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae binds to intact cytochrome c oxidase (CytcO) and has also been suggested to be an assembly factor of the enzyme. Here, we isolated CytcO from rcf1Δ mitochondria using affinity chromatography and investigated reduction, inter-heme electron transfer and ligand binding to heme a3. The data show that removal of Rcf1 yields two CytcO sub-populations. One of these sub-populations exhibits the same functional behavior as CytcO isolated from the wild-type strain, which indicates that intact CytcO is assembled also without Rcf1. In the other sub-population, which was shown previously to display decreased activity and accelerated ligand-binding kinetics, the midpoint potential of the catalytic site was lowered. The lower midpoint potential allowed us to selectively reduce one of the two sub-populations of the rcf1Δ CytcO, which made it possible to investigate the functional behavior of the two CytcO forms separately. We speculate that these functional alterations reflect a mechanism that regulates O2 binding and trapping in CytcO, thereby altering energy conservation by the enzyme.

    Read more about Regulation of cytochrome c oxidase activity by modulation of the catalytic site
  • Solution NMR structure of yeast Rcf1, a protein involved in respiratory supercomplex formation

    2018. Shu Zhou (et al.). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115 (12), 3048-3053

    Article

    The Saccharomyces cerevisiae respiratory supercomplex factor 1 (Rcf1) protein is located in the mitochondrial inner membrane where it is involved in formation of supercomplexes composed of respiratory complexes III and IV. We report the solution structure of Rcf1, which forms a dimer in dodecylphosphocholine (DPC) micelles, where each monomer consists of a bundle of five transmembrane (TM) helices and a short flexible soluble helix (SH). Three TM helices are unusually charged and provide the dimerization interface consisting of 10 putative salt bridges, defining a charge zipper motif. The dimer structure is supported by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in DPC, although the simulations show a more dynamic dimer interface than the NMR data. Furthermore, CD and NMR data indicate that Rcf1 undergoes a structural change when reconstituted in liposomes, which is supported by MD data, suggesting that the dimer structure is unstable in a planar membrane environment. Collectively, these data indicate a dynamic monomer-dimer equilibrium. Furthermore, the Rcf1 dimer interacts with cytochrome c, suggesting a role as an electron-transfer bridge between complexes III and IV. The Rcf1 structure will help in understanding its functional roles at a molecular level.

    Read more about Solution NMR structure of yeast Rcf1, a protein involved in respiratory supercomplex formation
  • Structural and functional heterogeneity of cytochrome c oxidase in S. cerevisiae

    2018. Jacob Schäfer (et al.). Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics 1859 (9), 699-704

    Article

    Respiration in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is regulated by small proteins such as the respiratory supercomplex factors (Rcf). One of these factors (Rcf1) has been shown to interact with complexes III (cyt. bc1) and IV (cytochrome c oxidase, CytcO) of the respiratory chain and to modulate the activity of the latter. Here, we investigated the effect of deleting Rcf1 on the functionality of CytcO, purified using a protein C-tag on core subunit 1 (Cox1). Specifically, we measured the kinetics of ligand binding to the CytcO catalytic site, the O2-reduction activity and changes in light absorption spectra. We found that upon removal of Rcf1 a fraction of the CytcO is incorrectly assembled with structural changes at the catalytic site. The data indicate that Rcf1 modulates the assembly and activity of CytcO by shifting the equilibrium of structural sub-states toward the fully active, intact form.

    Read more about Structural and functional heterogeneity of cytochrome c oxidase in S. cerevisiae
  • Structure of a functional obligate complex III2IV2 respiratory supercomplex from Mycobacterium smegmatis

    2018. Benjamin Wiseman (et al.). Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 25 (12), 1128-1136

    Article

    In the mycobacterial electron-transport chain, respiratory complex III passes electrons from menaquinol to complex IV, which in turn reduces oxygen, the terminal acceptor. Electron transfer is coupled to transmembrane proton translocation, thus establishing the electrochemical proton gradient that drives ATP synthesis. We isolated, biochemically characterized, and determined the structure of the obligate III2IV2 supercomplex from Mycobacterium smegmatis, a model for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The supercomplex has quinol:O-2 oxidoreductase activity without exogenous cytochrome c and includes a superoxide dismutase subunit that may detoxify reactive oxygen species produced during respiration. We found menaquinone bound in both the Q(o) and Q(i) sites of complex III. The complex III-intrinsic diheme cytochrome cc subunit, which functionally replaces both cytochrome c(1) and soluble cytochrome c in canonical electron-transport chains, displays two conformations: one in which it provides a direct electronic link to complex IV and another in which it serves as an electrical switch interrupting the connection.

    Read more about Structure of a functional obligate complex III2IV2 respiratory supercomplex from Mycobacterium smegmatis
  • The insertion of the non-heme Fe-B cofactor into nitric oxide reductase from P. denitrificans depends on NorQ and NorD accessory proteins

    2018. Maximilian Kahle (et al.). Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics 1859 (10), 1051-1058

    Article

    Bacterial NO reductases (NOR) catalyze the reduction of NO into N2O, either as a step in denitrification or as a detoxification mechanism. cNOR from Paracoccus (P.) denitrificans is expressed from the norCBQDEF operon, but only the NorB and NorC proteins are found in the purified NOR complex. Here, we established a new purification method for the P. denitrificans cNOR via a His-tag using heterologous expression in E. coli. The His-tagged enzyme is both structurally and functionally very similar to non-tagged cNOR. We were also able to express and purify cNOR from the structural genes norCB only, in absence of the accessory genes norQDEF. The produced protein is a stable NorCB complex containing all hemes and it can bind gaseous ligands (CO) to heme b(3), but it is catalytically inactive. We show that this deficient cNOR lacks the nonheme iron cofactor Fe B . Mutational analysis of the nor gene cluster revealed that it is the norQ and norD genes that are essential to form functional cNOR. NorQ belongs to the family of MoxR P-loop AAA + ATPases, which are in general considered to facilitate enzyme activation processes often involving metal insertion. Our data indicates that NorQ and NorD work together in order to facilitate non-heme Fe insertion. This is noteworthy since in many cases Fe cofactor binding occurs spontaneously. We further suggest a model for NorQ/D-facilitated metal insertion into cNOR.

    Read more about The insertion of the non-heme Fe-B cofactor into nitric oxide reductase from P. denitrificans depends on NorQ and NorD accessory proteins
  • Dynamics of the K-B Proton Pathway in Cytochrome ba(3) from Thermus thermophilus

    2017. Christoph von Ballmoos (et al.). Israel Journal of Chemistry 57 (5), 424-436

    Article

    The ba(3) cytochrome c oxidase from Thermus thermophilus is a B-type oxygen-reducing heme-copper oxidase and a proton pump. It uses only one proton pathway for transfer of protons to the catalytic site, the K-B pathway. It was previously shown that the ba(3) oxidase has an overall similar reaction sequence to that in mitochondrial-like A-type oxidases. However, the timing of loading the pump site, and formation and decay of catalytic intermediates is different in the two types of oxidases. In the present study, we have investigated variants in which two amino acids of the K-B proton pathway leading to the catalytic site were exchanged; Tyr-248 (located approximate to 23 angstrom below the active site towards the cytoplasm) in subunit I (Y248T) and Glu-15 (approximate to 26 angstrom below the active site, approximate to 16 angstrom from Tyr-248) in subunit II (E15(II)Q). Even though the overall catalytic turnover in these two variants is similar and very low (<1% of wildtype), the substitutions had distinctly different effects on the kinetics of proton transfer to the catalytic site. The results indicate that the Glu-15(II) is the only essentially crucial residue of the K-B pathway, but that the Tyr-248 also plays a distinct role in defining an internal proton donor and controlling the dynamics of proton transfer to the pump site and the catalytic site.

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  • Insights Into How Heme Reduction Potentials Modulate Enzymatic Activities of a Myoglobin-based Functional Oxidase

    2017. Ambika Bhagi-Damodaran (et al.). Angewandte Chemie International Edition 56 (23), 6622-6626

    Article

    Heme-copper oxidase (HCO) is a class of respiratory enzymes that use a heme-copper center to catalyze O-2 reduction to H2O. While heme reduction potential (E degrees') of different HCO types has been found to vary >500 mV, its impact on HCO activity remains poorly understood. Here, we use a set of myoglobin-based functional HCO models to investigate the mechanism by which heme E degrees' modulates oxidase activity. Rapid stopped-flow kinetic measurements show that increasing heme E degrees' by ca. 210 mV results in increases in electron transfer (ET) rates by 30-fold, rate of O-2 binding by 12-fold, O-2 dissociation by 35-fold, while decreasing O-2 affinity by 3-fold. Theoretical calculations reveal that E degrees' modulation has significant implications on electronic charge of both heme iron and O-2, resulting in increased O-2 dissociation and reduced O-2 affinity at high E degrees' values. Overall, this work suggests that fine-tuning E degrees' in HCOs and other heme enzymes can modulate their substrate affinity, ET rate and enzymatic activity.

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  • Modulation of protein function in membrane mimetics

    2017. Josy ter Beek, Maximilian Kahle, Pia Ädelroth. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes 1859 (10), 1951-1961

    Article

    For detailed functional characterization, membrane proteins are usually studied in detergent. However, it is becoming clear that detergent micelles are often poor mimics of the lipid environment in which these proteins function. In this work we compared the catalytic properties of the membrane-embedded cytochrome c-dependent nitric oxide reductase (cNOR) from Paracoccus (P.) denitnficans in detergent, lipid/protein nanodiscs, and proteoliposomes. We used two different lipid mixtures, an extract of soybean lipids and a defined mix of synthetic lipids mimicking the original P. denitrificans membrane. We show that the catalytic activity of detergent-solubilized cNOR increased threefold upon reconstitution from detergent into proteoliposomes with the P. denitrificans lipid mixture, and above two-fold when soybean lipids were used. In contrast, there was only a small activity increase in nanodiscs. We further show that binding of the gaseous ligands CO and O-2 are affected differently by reconstitution. In proteoliposomes the turnover rates are affected much more than in nanodiscs, but CO-binding is more significantly accelerated in liposomes with soybean lipids, while O-2-binding is faster with the P. denitrificans lipid mix. We also investigated proton-coupled electron transfer during the reaction between fully reduced cNOR and O-2, and found that the pK(a) of the internal proton donor was increased in proteoliposomes but not in nanodiscs. Taking our results together, the liposome-reconstituted enzyme shows significant differences to detergent-solubilized protein. Nanodiscs show much more subtle effects, presumably because of their much lower lipid to protein ratio. Which of these two membrane-mimetic systems best mimics the native membrane is discussed.

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  • Reaction of S-cerevisiae mitochondria with ligands

    2017. Markus L. Björck (et al.). Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics 1858 (2), 182-188

    Article

    Kinetic methods used to investigate electron and proton transfer within cytochrome c oxidase (CytcO) are often based on the use of light to dissociate small ligands, such as CO, thereby initiating the reaction. Studies of intact mitochondria using these methods require identification of proteins that may bind CO and determination of the ligand-binding kinetics. In the present study we have investigated the kinetics of CO-ligand binding to S. cerevisiae mitochondria and cellular extracts. The data indicate that CO binds to two proteins, CytcO and a (yeast) flavohemoglobin (yHb). The latter has been shown previously to reside in both the cell cytosol and the mitochondrial matrix. Here, we found that yHb resides also in the intermembrane space and binds CO in its reduced state. As observed previously, we found that the yHb population in the mitochondrial matrix binds CO, but only after removal of the inner membrane. The mitochondrial yHb (in both the intermembrane space and the matrix) recombines with CO with T congruent to 270 ms, which is significantly slower than observed with the cytosolic yHb (main component T congruent to 1.3 ms). The data indicate that the yHb populations in the different cell compartments differ in structure.

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  • Splitting of the O-O bond at the heme-copper catalytic site of respiratory oxidases

    2017. Federica Poiana (et al.). Science Advances 3 (6)

    Article

    Heme-copper oxidases catalyze the four-electron reduction of O-2 to H2O at a catalytic site that is composed of a heme group, a copper ion (Cu-B), and a tyrosine residue. Results from earlier experimental studies have shown that the O-O bond is cleaved simultaneously with electron transfer from a low-spin heme (heme a/b), forming a ferryl state (P-R; Fe4+= O2-, Cu-B(2+)-OH-). We show that with the Thermus thermophilus ba(3) oxidase, at low temperature (10 degrees C, pH 7), electron transfer from the low-spin heme b to the catalytic site is faster by a factor of similar to 10 (tau congruent to 11 mu s) than the formation of the P-R ferryl (t. 110 ms), which indicates that O-2 is reduced before the splitting of the O-O bond. Application of density functional theory indicates that the electron acceptor at the catalytic site is a high-energy peroxy state [Fe3+-O--O-(H+)], which is formed before the P-R ferryl. The rates of heme b oxidation and P-R ferryl formation were more similar at pH 10, indicating that the formation of the high-energy peroxy state involves proton transfer within the catalytic site, consistent with theory. The combined experimental and theoretical data suggest a general mechanism for O-2 reduction by heme-copper oxidases.

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  • The mechanism for oxygen reduction in cytochrome c dependent nitric oxide reductase (cNOR) as obtained from a combination of theoretical and experimental results

    2017. Margareta R. A. Blomberg, Pia Ädelroth. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics 1858 (11), 884-894

    Article

    Bacterial NO-reductases (NOR) belong to the heme-copper oxidase (HCuO) superfamily, in which most members are O-2-reducing, proton-pumping enzymes. This study is one in a series aiming to elucidate the reaction mechanisms of the HCuOs, including the mechanisms for cellular energy conservation. One approach towards this goal is to compare the mechanisms for the different types of HCuOs, cytochrome c oxidase (CcO) and NOR, reducing the two substrates O-2 and NO. Specifically in this study, we describe the mechanism for oxygen reduction in cytochrome c dependent NOR (cNOR). Hybrid density functional calculations were performed on large cluster models of the cNOR binuclear active site. Our results are used, together with published experimental information, to construct a free energy profile for the entire catalytic cycle. Although the overall reaction is quite exergonic, we show that during the reduction of molecular oxygen in cNOR, two of the reduction steps are endergonic with high barriers for proton uptake, which is in contrast to oxygen reduction in CcO, where all reduction steps are exergonic. This difference between the two enzymes is suggested to be important for their differing capabilities for energy conservation. An additional result from this study is that at least three of the four reduction steps are initiated by proton transfer to the active site, which is in contrast to CcO, where electrons always arrive before the protons to the active site. The roles of the non-heme metal ion and the redox-active tyrosine in the active site are also discussed.

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  • Investigating the Proton Donor in the NO Reductase from Paracoccus denitrificans

    2016. Josy ter Beek, Nils Krause, Pia Ädelroth. PLOS ONE 11 (3)

    Article

    Variant nomenclature: the variants were made in the NorB subunit if not indicated by the superscript(c), which are variants in the NorC subunit (e.g. E122A = exchange of Glu-122 in NorB for an Ala, E71(c)D; exchange of Glu-71 in NorC for an Asp). Bacterial NO reductases (NORs) are integral membrane proteins from the heme-copper oxidase superfamily. Most heme-copper oxidases are proton-pumping enzymes that reduce O-2 as the last step in the respiratory chain. With electrons from cytochrome c, NO reductase (cNOR) from Paracoccus (P.) denitrificans reduces NO to N2O via the following reaction: 2NO+2e(-)+2H(+) -> N2O+H2O. Although this reaction is as exergonic as O-2-reduction, cNOR does not contribute to the electrochemical gradient over the membrane. This means that cNOR does not pump protons and that the protons needed for the reaction are taken from the periplasmic side of the membrane (since the electrons are donated from this side). We previously showed that the P. denitrificans cNOR uses a single defined proton pathway with residues Glu-58 and Lys-54 from the NorC subunit at the entrance. Here we further strengthened the evidence in support of this pathway. Our further aim was to define the continuation of the pathway and the immediate proton donor for the active site. To this end, we investigated the region around the calcium-binding site and both propionates of heme b(3) by site directed mutagenesis. Changing single amino acids in these areas often had severe effects on cNOR function, with many variants having a perturbed active site, making detailed analysis of proton transfer properties difficult. Our data does however indicate that the calcium ligation sphere and the region around the heme b(3) propionates are important for proton transfer and presumably contain the proton donor. The possible evolutionary link between the area for the immediate donor in cNOR and the proton loading site (PLS) for pumped protons in oxygen-reducing heme-copper oxidases is discussed.

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  • Isolation of yeast complex IV in native lipid nanodiscs

    2016. Irina A. Smirnova (et al.). Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes 1858 (12), 2984-2992

    Article

    We used the amphipathic styrene maleic acid (SMA) co-polymer to extract cytochrome c oxidase (CytcO) in its native lipid environment from S. cerevisiae mitochondria. Native nanodiscs containing one CytcO per disc were purified using affinity chromatography. The longest cross-sections of the native nanodiscs were 11 nm x 14 nm. Based on this size we estimated that each CytcO was surrounded by similar to 100 phospholipids. The native nanodiscs contained the same major phospholipids as those found in the mitochondrial inner membrane. Even though CytcO forms a supercomplex with cytochrome bc(1) in the mitochondria! membrane, cyt.bc(1) was not found in the native nanodiscs. Yet, the loosely-bound Respiratory SuperComplex factors were found to associate with the isolated CytcO. The native nanodiscs displayed an O-2-reduction activity of similar to 130 electrons CytcO(-1) s(-1) and the kinetics of the reaction of the fully reduced CytcO with 02 was essentially the same as that observed with CytcO in mitochondrial membranes. The kinetics of CO-ligand binding to the CytcO catalytic site was similar in the native nanodiscs and the mitochondrial membranes. We also found that excess SMA reversibly inhibited the catalytic activity of the mitochondrial CytcO, presumably by interfering with cyt. c binding. These data point to the importance of removing excess SMA after extraction of the membrane protein. Taken together, our data shows the high potential of using SMA-extracted CytcO for functional and structural studies.

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  • Lipid-mediated Protein-protein Interactions Modulate Respiration-driven ATP Synthesis

    2016. Tobias Nilsson (et al.). Scientific Reports 6

    Article

    Energy conversion in biological systems is underpinned by membrane-bound proton transporters that generate and maintain a proton electrochemical gradient across the membrane which used, e.g. for generation of ATP by the ATP synthase. Here, we have co-reconstituted the proton pump cytochrome bo3 (ubiquinol oxidase) together with ATP synthase in liposomes and studied the effect of changing the lipid composition on the ATP synthesis activity driven by proton pumping. We found that for 100 nm liposomes, containing 5 of each proteins, the ATP synthesis rates decreased significantly with increasing fractions of DOPA, DOPE, DOPG or cardiolipin added to liposomes made of DOPC; with e.g. 5% DOPG, we observed an almost 50% decrease in the ATP synthesis rate. However, upon increasing the average distance between the proton pumps and ATP synthases, the ATP synthesis rate dropped and the lipid dependence of this activity vanished. The data indicate that protons are transferred along the membrane, between cytochrome bo3 and the ATP synthase, but only at sufficiently high protein densities. We also argue that the local protein density may be modulated by lipid-dependent changes in interactions between the two proteins complexes, which points to a mechanism by which the cell may regulate the overall activity of the respiratory chain.

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  • Rapid Electron Transfer within the III-IV Supercomplex in Corynebacterium glutamicum

    2016. Simone Graf (et al.). Scientific Reports 6

    Article

    Complex III in C. glutamicum has an unusual di-heme cyt.c(1) and it co-purifies with complex IV in a supercomplex. Here, we investigated the kinetics of electron transfer within this supercomplex and in the cyt.aa(3) alone (cyt.bc(1) was removed genetically). In the reaction of the reduced cyt.aa(3) with O-2, we identified the same sequence of events as with other A-type oxidases. However, even though this reaction is associated with proton uptake, no pH dependence was observed in the kinetics. For the cyt. bc(1)-cyt.aa(3) supercomplex, we observed that electrons from the c-hemes were transferred to CuA with time constants 0.1-1 ms. The b-hemes were oxidized with a time constant of 6.5 ms, indicating that this electron transfer is rate-limiting for the overall quinol oxidation/O-2 reduction activity (similar to 210 e(-)/s). Furthermore, electron transfer from externally added cyt.c to cyt.aa(3) was significantly faster upon removal of cyt.bc(1) from the supercomplex, suggesting that one of the c-hemes occupies a position near Cu-A. In conclusion, isolation of the III-IV-supercomplex allowed us to investigate the kinetics of electron transfer from the b-hemes, via the di-heme cyt.c(1) and heme a to the heme a(3)-Cu-B catalytic site of cyt.aa(3).

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  • Regulatory role of the respiratory supercomplex factors in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    2016. Camilla Rydström Lundin (et al.). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113 (31), E4476-E4485

    Article

    The respiratory supercomplex factors (Rcf) 1 and 2 mediate supramolecular interactions between mitochondrial complexes III (ubiquinolcytochrome c reductase; cyt. bc(1)) and IV (cytochrome c oxidase; CytcO). In addition, removal of these polypeptides results in decreased activity of CytcO, but not of cyt. bc(1). In the present study, we have investigated the kinetics of ligand binding, the singleturn-over reaction of CytcO with O-2, and the linked cyt. bc(1)-CytcO quinol oxidation-oxygen-reduction activities in mitochondria in which Rcf1 or Rcf2 were removed genetically (strains rcf1 Delta and rcf2 Delta, respectively). The data show that in the rcf1 Delta and rcf2 Delta strains, in a significant fraction of the population, ligand binding occurs over a time scale that is similar to 100-fold faster (tau congruent to 100 mu s) than observed with the wild-type mitochondria (tau congruent to 10 ms), indicating structural changes. This effect is specific to removal of Rcf and not dissociation of the cyt. bc(1)-CytcO supercomplex. Furthermore, in the rcf1 Delta and rcf2 Delta strains, the single-turnover reaction of CytcO with O-2 was incomplete. This observation indicates that the lower activity of CytcO is caused by a fraction of inactive CytcO rather than decreased CytcO activity of the entire population. Furthermore, the data suggest that the Rcf1 polypeptide mediates formation of an electrontransfer bridge from cyt. bc(1) to CytcO via a tightly bound cyt. c. We discuss the significance of the proposed regulatory mechanism of Rcf1 and Rcf2 in the context of supramolecular interactions between cyt. bc(1) and CytcO.

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  • Mutation of a single residue in the ba(3) oxidase specifically impairs protonation of the pump site

    2015. Christoph von Ballmoos (et al.). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112 (11), 3397-3402

    Article

    The ba(3)-type cytochrome c oxidase from Thermus thermophilus is a membrane-bound protein complex that couples electron transfer to O-2 to proton translocation across the membrane. To elucidate the mechanism of the redox-driven proton pumping, we investigated the kinetics of electron and proton transfer in a structural variant of the ba(3) oxidase where a putative pump site was modified by replacement of Asp372 by Ile. In this structural variant, proton pumping was uncoupled from internal electron transfer and O-2 reduction. The results from our studies show that proton uptake to the pump site (time constant similar to 65 mu s in the wild-type cytochrome c oxidase) was impaired in the Asp372Ile variant. Furthermore, a reaction step that in the wild-type cytochrome c oxidase is linked to simultaneous proton uptake and release with a time constant of similar to 1.2 ms was slowed to similar to 8.4 ms, and in Asp372Ile was only associated with proton uptake to the catalytic site. These data identify reaction steps that are associated with protonation and deprotonation of the pump site, and point to the area around Asp372 as the location of this site in the ba(3) cytochrome c oxidase.

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  • Nitric oxide is a potent inhibitor of the cbb(3)-type heme-copper oxidases

    2015. Davinia Arjona, Mårten Wikström, Pia Ädelroth. FEBS Letters 589 (11), 1214-1218

    Article

    C-type heme-copper oxidases terminate the respiratory chain in many pathogenic bacteria, and will encounter elevated concentrations of NO produced by the immune defense of the host. Thus, a decreased sensitivity to NO in C-type oxidases would increase the survival of these pathogens. Here we have compared the inhibitory effect of NO in C-type oxidases to that in the mitochondrial A-type. We show that O-2-reduction in both the Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Vibrio cholerae C-type oxidases is strongly and reversibly inhibited by submicromolar NO, with an inhibition pattern similar to the A-type. Thus, NO tolerance in pathogens with a C-type terminal oxidase has to rely mainly on other mechanisms.

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  • The two transmembrane helices of CcoP are sufficient for assembly of the cbb(3)-type heme-copper oxygen reductase from Vibrio cholerae

    2015. Young O. Ahn (et al.). Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics 1847 (10), 1231-1239

    Article

    The C-family (cbb(3)) of heme-copper oxygen reductases are proton-pumping enzymes terminating the aerobic respiratory chains of many bacteria, including a number of human pathogens. The most common form of these enzymes contains one copy each of 4 subunits encoded by the ccoNOQP operon. In the cbb3 from Rhodobacter capsulatus, the enzyme is assembled in a stepwise manner, with an essential role played by an assembly protein CcoH. Importantly, it has been proposed that a transient interaction between the transmembrane domains of CcoP and CcoH is essential for assembly. Here, we test this proposal by showing that a genetically engineered form of cbb(3) from Vibrio cholerae (CcoNOQP(X)) that lacks the hydrophilic domain of CcoP, where the two heme c moieties are present, is fully assembled and stable. Single-turnover kinetics of the reaction between the fully reduced CcoNOQP(X) and O-2 are essentially the same as the wild type enzyme in oxidizing the 4 remaining redox-active sites. The enzyme retains approximately 10% of the steady state oxidase activity using the artificial electron donor TMPD, but has no activity using the physiological electron donor cytochrome c(4), since the docking site for this cytochrome is presumably located on the absent domain of CcoP. Residue E49 in the hydrophobic domain of CcoP is the entrance of the K-C-channel for proton input, and the E49A mutation in the truncated enzyme further reduces the steady state activity to less than 3%. Hence, the same proton channel is used by both the wild type and truncated enzymes.

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  • Conformational coupling between the active site and residues within the K-C-channel of the Vibrio cholerae cbb(3)-type (C-family) oxygen reductase

    2014. Young O. Ahn (et al.). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111 (42), E4419-E4428

    Article

    The respiratory chains of nearly all aerobic organisms are terminated by proton-pumping heme-copper oxygen reductases (HCOs). Previous studies have established that C-family HCOs contain a single channel for uptake from the bacterial cytoplasm of all chemical and pumped protons, and that the entrance of the K-C-channel is a conserved glutamate in subunit III. However, the majority of the K-C-channel is within subunit I, and the pathway from this conserved glutamate to subunit I is not evident. In the present study, molecular dynamics simulations were used to characterize a chain of water molecules leading from the cytoplasmic solution, passing the conserved glutamate in subunit III and extending into subunit I. Formation of the water chain, which controls the delivery of protons to the K-C-channel, was found to depend on the conformation of Y241(Vc), located in subunit I at the interface with subunit III. Mutations of Y241(Vc) (to A/F/H/S) in the Vibrio cholerae cbb(3) eliminate catalytic activity, but also cause perturbations that propagate over a 28-angstrom distance to the active site heme b(3). The data suggest a linkage between residues lining the KC-channel and the active site of the enzyme, possibly mediated by transmembrane helix alpha 7, which contains both Y241(Vc) and the active site crosslinked Y255(Vc), as well as two Cu-B histidine ligands. Other mutations of residues within or near helix alpha 7 also perturb the active site, indicating that this helix is involved in modulation of the active site of the enzyme.

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  • Intermediates generated during the reaction of reduced Rhodobacter sphaeroides cytochrome c oxidase with dioxygen

    2013. Peter Brzezinski, Linda Näsvik Öjemyr, Pia Ädelroth. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics 1827 (7), 843-847

    Article

    Cytochrome oxidase is one of the functionally most intriguing redox-driven proton pumps. During the last decade our increased understanding of the system has greatly benefited from theoretical calculations and modeling in the framework of three-dimensional structures of cytochrome c oxidases from different species. Because these studies are based on results from experiments, it is important that any ambiguities in the conclusions extracted from these experiments are discussed and elucidated. In a recent study Szundi et al. (Szundi et al. Biochemistry 2012, 51, 9302) investigated the reaction of the reduced Rhodobacter sphaeroides cytochrome c oxidase with O-2 and arrived at conclusions different from those derived from earlier investigations. In this short communication we compare these very recent data to those obtained from earlier studies and discuss the origin of the differences.

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  • Single Mutations That Redirect Internal Proton Transfer in the ba(3) Oxidase from Thermus thermophilus

    2013. Irina Smirnova (et al.). Biochemistry 52 (40), 7022-7030

    Article

    The ba(3)-type cytochrome c oxidase from Thermus thermophilus is a membrane-bound proton pump. Results from earlier studies have shown that with the aa(3)-type oxidases proton uptake to the catalytic site and pump site occurs simultaneously. However, with ba(3) oxidase the pump site is loaded before proton transfer to the catalytic site because the proton transfer to the latter is slower than that with the aa(3) oxidases. In addition, the timing of formation and decay of catalytic intermediates is different in the two types of oxidases. In the present study, we have investigated two mutant ba(3) CytcOs in which residues of the proton pathway leading to the catalytic site as well as the pump site were exchanged, Thr312Val and Tyr244Phe. Even though ba(3) CytcO uses only a single proton pathway for transfer of the substrate and pumped protons, the amino-acid residue substitutions had distinctly different effects on the kinetics of proton transfer to the catalytic site and the pump site. The results indicate that the rates of these reactions can be modified independently by replacement of single residues within the proton pathway. Furthermore, the data suggest that the Thr312Val and Tyr244Phe mutations interfere with a structural rearrangement in the proton pathway that is rate limiting for proton transfer to the catalytic site.

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  • The Nitric-oxide Reductase from Paracoccus denitrificans Uses a Single Specific Proton Pathway

    2013. Josy ter Beek (et al.). Journal of Biological Chemistry 288 (42), 30626-30635

    Article

    The NO reductase from Paracoccus denitrificans reduces NO to N2O (2NO + 2H(+) + 2e(-) → N2O + H2O) with electrons donated by periplasmic cytochrome c (cytochrome c-dependent NO reductase; cNOR). cNORs are members of the heme-copper oxidase superfamily of integral membrane proteins, comprising the O2-reducing, proton-pumping respiratory enzymes. In contrast, although NO reduction is as exergonic as O2 reduction, there are no protons pumped in cNOR, and in addition, protons needed for NO reduction are derived from the periplasmic solution (no contribution to the electrochemical gradient is made). cNOR thus only needs to transport protons from the periplasm into the active site without the requirement to control the timing of opening and closing (gating) of proton pathways as is needed in a proton pump. Based on the crystal structure of a closely related cNOR and molecular dynamics simulations, several proton transfer pathways were suggested, and in principle, these could all be functional. In this work, we show that residues in one of the suggested pathways (denoted pathway 1) are sensitive to site-directed mutation, whereas residues in the other proposed pathways (pathways 2 and 3) could be exchanged without severe effects on turnover activity with either NO or O2. We further show that electron transfer during single-turnover reduction of O2 is limited by proton transfer and can thus be used to study alterations in proton transfer rates. The exchange of residues along pathway 1 showed specific slowing of this proton-coupled electron transfer as well as changes in its pH dependence. Our results indicate that only pathway 1 is used to transfer protons in cNOR.

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  • Proton transfer in ba(3) cytochrome c oxidase from Thermus thermophilus

    2012. Christoph von Ballmoos (et al.). Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics 1817 (4), 650-657

    Article

    The respiratory heme-copper oxidases catalyze reduction of O-2 to H2O, linking this process to transmembrane proton pumping. These oxidases have been classified according to the architecture, location and number of proton pathways. Most structural and functional studies to date have been performed on the A-class oxidases, which includes those that are found in the inner mitochondrial membrane and bacteria such as Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Paracoccus denitrificans (aa(3)-type oxidases in these bacteria). These oxidases pump protons with a stoichiometry of one proton per electron transferred to the,catalytic site. The bacterial A-class oxidases use two proton pathways (denoted by letters D and K, respectively), for the transfer of protons to the catalytic site, and protons that are pumped across the membrane. The B-type oxidases such as, for example, the ba(3) oxidase from Thermus thermophilus, pump protons with a lower stoichiometry of 0.5 H+/electron and use only one proton pathway for the transfer of all protons. This pathway overlaps in space with the K pathway in the A class oxidases without showing any sequence homology though. Here, we review the functional properties of the A- and the B-class ba3 oxidases with a focus on mechanisms of proton transfer and pumping. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Respiratory Oxidases.

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  • Proton transfer in the quinol dependent nitric oxide reductase from geobacillus stearothermophilus during reduction of oxygen

    2012. Lina Salomonsson (et al.). Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics 1817 (10), 1914-1920

    Article

    Bacterial nitric oxide reductases (NOR) are integral membrane proteins that catalyse the reduction of nitric oxide to nitrous oxide, often as a step in the process of denitrification. Most functional data has been obtained with NORs that receive their electrons from a soluble cytochrome c in the periplasm and are hence termed cNOR. Very recently, the structure of a different type of NOR, the quinol-dependent (q)-NOR from the thermophilic bacterium Geobacillus stearothermophilus was solved to atomic resolution [Y. Matsumoto, T. Tosha, A.V. Pisliakov, T. Hino, H. Sugimoto, S. Nagano, Y. Sugita and Y. Shiro, Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 19 (2012) 238-246]. In this study, we have investigated the reaction between this gNOR and oxygen. Our results show that, like some cNORs, the C. stearothermophilus gNOR is capable of 02 reduction with a turnover of similar to 3 electrons s(-1) at 40 degrees C. Furthermore, using the so-called flow-flash technique, we show that the fully reduced (with three available electrons) gNOR reacts with oxygen in a reaction with a time constant of 1.8 ms that oxidises the low-spin heme b. This reaction is coupled to proton uptake from solution and presumably forms a ferryl intermediate at the active site. The pH dependence of the reaction is markedly different from a corresponding reaction in cNOR from Paracoccus denitrificans, indicating that possibly the proton uptake mechanism and/or pathway differs between gNOR and cNOR. This study furthermore forms the basis for investigation of the proton transfer pathway in gNOR using both variants with putative proton transfer elements modified and measurements of the vectorial nature of the proton transfer. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 17th European Bioenergetics Conference (EBEC 2012).

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  • Entrance of the proton pathway in cbb3-type heme-copper oxidases

    2011. Hyun Ju Lee, Robert B Gennis, Pia Ädelroth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108 (43), 17661-6

    Article

    Heme-copper oxidases (HCuOs) are the last components of the respiratory chain in mitochondria and many bacteria. They catalyze O(2) reduction and couple it to the maintenance of a proton-motive force across the membrane in which they are embedded. In the mitochondrial-like, A family of HCuOs, there are two well established proton transfer pathways leading from the cytosol to the active site, the D and the K pathways. In the C family (cbb(3)) HCuOs, recent work indicated the use of only one pathway, analogous to the K pathway. In this work, we have studied the functional importance of the suggested entry point of this pathway, the Glu-25 (Rhodobacter sphaeroides cbb(3) numbering) in the accessory subunit CcoP (E25(P)). We show that catalytic turnover is severely slowed in variants lacking the protonatable Glu-25. Furthermore, proton uptake from solution during oxidation of the fully reduced cbb(3) by O(2) is specifically and severely impaired when Glu-25 was exchanged for Ala or Gln, with rate constants 100-500 times slower than in wild type. Thus, our results support the role of E25(P) as the entry point to the proton pathway in cbb(3) and that this pathway is the main proton pathway. This is in contrast to the A-type HCuOs, where the D (and not the K) pathway is used during O(2) reduction. The cbb(3) is in addition to O(2) reduction capable of NO reduction, an activity that was largely retained in the E25(P) variants, consistent with a scenario where NO reduction in cbb(3) uses protons from the periplasmic side of the membrane.

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  • Functional Role of Thr-312 and Thr-315 in the Proton-Transfer Pathway in ba3 Cytochrome c Oxidase from Thermus thermophilus

    2010. Irina Smirnova (et al.). Biochemistry 49 (33), 7033-7039

    Article

    Cytochrome ba3 from Thermus thermophilus is a member of the family of B-type heme-copper oxidases, which have a low degree of sequence homology to the well-studied mitochondrial-like A-type enzymes. Recently, it was suggested that the ba3 oxidase has only one pathway for the delivery of protons to the active site and that this pathway is spatially analogous to the K-pathway in the A-type oxidases [Chang, H.-Y., et al. (2009) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 106, 16169−16173]. This suggested pathway includes two threonines at positions 312 and 315. In this study, we investigated the time-resolved reaction between fully reduced cytochrome ba3 and O2 in variants where Thr-312 and Thr-315 were modified. While in the A-type oxidases this reaction is essentially unchanged in variants with the K-pathway modified, in the Thr-312 → Ser variant in the ba3 oxidase both reactions associated with proton uptake from solution, the PR → F and F → O transitions, were slowed compared to those of wild-type ba3. The observed time constants were slowed 3-fold (for PR → F, from 60 to 170 μs in the wild type) and 30-fold (for F → O, from 1.1 to 40 ms). In the Thr-315 → Val variant, the F → O transition was 5-fold slower (5 ms) than for the wild-type oxidase, whereas the PR → F transition displayed an essentially unchanged time constant. However, the uptake of protons from solution was a factor of 2 slower and decoupled from the optical PR → F transition. Our results thus show that proton uptake is significantly and specifically inhibited in the two variants, strongly supporting the suggested involvement of T312 and T315 in the transfer of protons to the active site during O2 reduction in the ba3 oxidase.

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  • Vectorial proton transfer coupled to reduction of O2 and NO by a heme-copper oxidase

    2008. Yafei Huang (et al.). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105 (51), 20257-20262

    Article

    The heme-copper oxidase (HCuO) superfamily consists of integral membrane proteins that catalyze the reduction of either oxygen or nitric oxide. The HCuOs that reduce O2 to H2O couple this reaction to the generation of a transmembrane proton gradient by using electrons and protons from opposite sides of the membrane and by pumping protons from inside the cell or organelle to the outside. The bacterial NO-reductases (NOR) reduce NO to N2O (2NO + 2e + 2H+ → N2O + H2O), a reaction as exergonic as that with O2. Yet, in NOR both electrons and protons are taken from the outside periplasmic solution, thus not conserving the free energy available. The cbb3-type HCuOs catalyze reduction of both O2 and NO. Here, we have investigated energy conservation in the Rhodobacter sphaeroides cbb3 oxidase during reduction of either O2 or NO. Whereas O2 reduction is coupled to buildup of a substantial electrochemical gradient across the membrane, NO reduction is not. This means that although the cbb3 oxidase has all of the structural elements for uptake of substrate protons from the inside, as well as for proton pumping, during NO reduction no pumping occurs and we suggest a scenario where substrate protons are derived from the outside solution. This would occur by a reversal of the proton pathway normally used for release of pumped protons. The consequences of our results for the general pumping mechanism in all HCuOs are discussed.

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  • Substrate Control of Internal Electron Transfer in Bacterial Nitric-oxide Reductase

    2010. Peter Lachmann (et al.). Journal of Biological Chemistry 285 (33), 25531-25537

    Article

    Nitric-oxide reductase (NOR) from Paracoccus denitrificans catalyzes the reduction of nitric oxide (NO) to nitrous oxide (N2O) (2NO + 2H(+) + 2e(-) -> N2O + H2O) by a poorly understood mechanism. NOR contains two low spin hemes c and b, one high spin heme b(3), and a non-heme iron Fe-B. Here, we have studied the reaction between fully reduced NOR and NO using the ""flow-flash"" technique. Fully (four-electron) reduced NOR is capable of two turnovers with NO. Initial binding of NO to reduced heme b(3) occurs with a time constant of similar to 1 mu s at 1.5 mM NO, in agreement with earlier studies. This reaction is [NO]-dependent, ruling out an obligatory binding of NO to FeB before ligation to heme b(3). Oxidation of hemes b and c occurs in a biphasic reaction with rate constants of 50 s(-1) and 3 s(-1) at 1.5 mM NO and pH 7.5. Interestingly, this oxidation is accelerated as [NO] is lowered; the rate constants are 120 s(-1) and 12 s(-1) at 75 mu M NO. Protons are taken up from solution concomitantly with oxidation of the low spin hemes, leading to an acceleration at low pH. This effect is, however, counteracted by a larger degree of substrate inhibition at low pH. Our data thus show that substrate inhibition in NOR, previously observed during multiple turnovers, already occurs during a single oxidative cycle. Thus, NO must bind to its inhibitory site before electrons redistribute to the active site. The further implications of our data for the mechanism of NO reduction by NOR are discussed.

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