JOURNAL ARTICLE

New model for electron flow for sulfate reduction in Desulfovibrio alaskensis G20

Kimberly L Keller, Barbara J Rapp-Giles, Elizabeth S Semkiw, Iris Porat, Steven D Brown, Judy D Wall
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2014, 80 (3): 855-68
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To understand the energy conversion activities of the anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria, it is necessary to identify the components involved in electron flow. The importance of the abundant type I tetraheme cytochrome c3 (TpIc3) as an electron carrier during sulfate respiration was questioned by the previous isolation of a null mutation in the gene encoding TpIc3, cycA, in Desulfovibrio alaskensis G20. Whereas respiratory growth of the CycA mutant with lactate and sulfate was little affected, growth with pyruvate and sulfate was significantly impaired. We have explored the phenotype of the CycA mutant through physiological tests and transcriptomic and proteomic analyses. Data reported here show that electrons from pyruvate oxidation do not reach adenylyl sulfate reductase, the enzyme catalyzing the first redox reaction during sulfate reduction, in the absence of either CycA or the type I cytochrome c3:menaquinone oxidoreductase transmembrane complex, QrcABCD. In contrast to the wild type, the CycA and QrcA mutants did not grow with H2 or formate and sulfate as the electron acceptor. Transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of the CycA mutant showed that transcripts and enzymes for the pathway from pyruvate to succinate were strongly decreased in the CycA mutant regardless of the growth mode. Neither the CycA nor the QrcA mutant grew on fumarate alone, consistent with the omics results and a redox regulation of gene expression. We conclude that TpIc3 and the Qrc complex are D. alaskensis components essential for the transfer of electrons released in the periplasm to reach the cytoplasmic adenylyl sulfate reductase and present a model that may explain the CycA phenotype through confurcation of electrons.

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