• Elucidation of the dual role of Mycobacterial MoeZR in molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis and cysteine biosynthesis.

      Voss, Martin; Nimtz, Manfred; Leimkühler, Silke; Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany. (2011)
      The pathway of molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis has been studied in detail by using proteins from Mycobacterium species, which contain several homologs associated with the first steps of Moco biosynthesis. While all Mycobacteria species contain a MoeZR, only some strains have acquired an additional homolog, MoeBR, by horizontal gene transfer. The role of MoeBR and MoeZR was studied in detail for the interaction with the two MoaD-homologs involved in Moco biosynthesis, MoaD1 and MoaD2, in addition to the CysO protein involved in cysteine biosynthesis. We show that both proteins have a role in Moco biosynthesis, while only MoeZR, but not MoeBR, has an additional role in cysteine biosynthesis. MoeZR and MoeBR were able to complement an E. coli moeB mutant strain, but only in conjunction with the Mycobacterial MoaD1 or MoaD2 proteins. Both proteins were able to sulfurate MoaD1 and MoaD2 in vivo, while only MoeZR additionally transferred the sulfur to CysO. Our in vivo studies show that Mycobacteria have acquired several homologs to maintain Moco biosynthesis. MoeZR has a dual role in Moco- and cysteine biosynthesis and is involved in the sulfuration of MoaD and CysO, whereas MoeBR only has a role in Moco biosynthesis, which is not an essential function for Mycobacteria.
    • The Molybdenum Active Site of Formate Dehydrogenase Is Capable of Catalyzing C-H Bond Cleavage and Oxygen Atom Transfer Reactions.

      Hartmann, Tobias; Schrapers, Peer; Utesch, Tillmann; Nimtz, Manfred; Rippers, Yvonne; Dau, Holger; Mroginski, Maria Andrea; Haumann, Michael; Leimkühler, Silke; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-04-26)
      Formate dehydrogenases (FDHs) are capable of performing the reversible oxidation of formate and are enzymes of great interest for fuel cell applications and for the production of reduced carbon compounds as energy sources from CO2. Metal-containing FDHs in general contain a highly conserved active site, comprising a molybdenum (or tungsten) center coordinated by two molybdopterin guanine dinucleotide molecules, a sulfido and a (seleno-)cysteine ligand, in addition to a histidine and arginine residue in the second coordination sphere. So far, the role of these amino acids in catalysis has not been studied in detail, because of the lack of suitable expression systems and the lability or oxygen sensitivity of the enzymes. Here, the roles of these active site residues is revealed using the Mo-containing FDH from Rhodobacter capsulatus. Our results show that the cysteine ligand at the Mo ion is displaced by the formate substrate during the reaction, the arginine has a direct role in substrate binding and stabilization, and the histidine elevates the pKa of the active site cysteine. We further found that in addition to reversible formate oxidation, the enzyme is further capable of reducing nitrate to nitrite. We propose a mechanistic scheme that combines both functionalities and provides important insights into the distinct mechanisms of C-H bond cleavage and oxygen atom transfer catalyzed by formate dehydrogenase.
    • The sulfur carrier protein TusA has a pleiotropic role in Escherichia coli that also affects molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis.

      Dahl, Jan-Ulrik; Radon, Christin; Bühning, Martin; Nimtz, Manfred; Leichert, Lars I; Denis, Yann; Jourlin-Castelli, Cécile; Iobbi-Nivol, Chantal; Méjean, Vincent; Leimkühler, Silke; et al. (2013-02-22)
      The Escherichia coli L-cysteine desulfurase IscS mobilizes sulfur from L-cysteine for the synthesis of several biomolecules such as iron-sulfur (FeS) clusters, molybdopterin, thiamin, lipoic acid, biotin, and the thiolation of tRNAs. The sulfur transfer from IscS to various biomolecules is mediated by different interaction partners (e.g. TusA for thiomodification of tRNAs, IscU for FeS cluster biogenesis, and ThiI for thiamine biosynthesis/tRNA thiolation), which bind at different sites of IscS. Transcriptomic and proteomic studies of a ΔtusA strain showed that the expression of genes of the moaABCDE operon coding for proteins involved in molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis is increased under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Additionally, under anaerobic conditions the expression of genes encoding hydrogenase 3 and several molybdoenzymes such as nitrate reductase were also increased. On the contrary, the activity of all molydoenzymes analyzed was significantly reduced in the ΔtusA mutant. Characterization of the ΔtusA strain under aerobic conditions showed an overall low molybdopterin content and an accumulation of cyclic pyranopterin monophosphate. Under anaerobic conditions the activity of nitrate reductase was reduced by only 50%, showing that TusA is not essential for molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis. We present a model in which we propose that the direction of sulfur transfer for each sulfur-containing biomolecule is regulated by the availability of the interaction partner of IscS. We propose that in the absence of TusA, more IscS is available for FeS cluster biosynthesis and that the overproduction of FeS clusters leads to a modified expression of several genes.