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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Characterization of a tungsten-iron-sulfur protein exhibiting novel spectroscopic and redox properties from the hyperthermophilic archaebacterium Pyrococcus furiosus.

The archaebacterium, Pyrococcus furiosus, is a strict anaerobe that grows optimally at 100 degrees C by a fermentative-type metabolism in which H2 and CO2 are the only detectable products. Tungsten is known to stimulate the growth of this organism. A red-colored tungsten-containing protein (abbreviated RTP) that is redox-active and extremely thermostable has been purified. RTP is a monomer of Mr = 85,000 and contains approximately 6 iron, 1 tungsten, and 4 acid-labile sulfide atoms/molecule. Titrations using visible spectroscopy were consistent with the oxidation and reduction of the protein each requiring two electrons/molecule, suggesting that these metals and the sulfide are arranged in two redox active centers. P. furiosus ferredoxin served as an electron acceptor for the protein. Dithionite-reduced RTP exhibited a remarkable and complex EPR spectrum at 6 K with g values ranging from 1.3 to 10. 0. This was shown to arise from the spin-coupling interaction of two paramagnetic centers. One (center A) has a S = 3/2 spin system (effective g values: gx = 3.33, gy = 4.75, and gz = 1.92, where D = 4.3 cm-1 and lambda = 0.135), whereas the EPR properties of the other (center B) could not be deduced. Nevertheless, theoretical analyses show how the redox properties of both centers may be determined using EPR spectroscopy. Their midpoint potentials (Em) at 20 degrees C and pH 8.0 are -410 mV (center A) and -500 mV (center B) with an effective potential for the spin coupled system (Em, A + B) of -505 mV. The Em values are dependent on temperature (delta Em/delta T = -2 mV/degrees C between 20 and 70 degrees C) and pH with pK alpha values of 8.0 (A) and approximately 8.5 (B). The Em values at 100 degrees C, the growth temperature, were estimated at -590, -650, and -660 mV for centers A, B, and A + B, respectively. These data indicate that RTP catalyzes a dehydrogenase-type reaction of extremely low potential, which involves the transfer of two protons and of two electrons, to and from two adjacent and interacting but nonidentical metal centers.[1]


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