• Identification of persulfide-binding and disulfide-forming cysteine residues in the NifS-like domain of the molybdenum cofactor sulfurase ABA3 by cysteine-scanning mutagenesis.

      Lehrke, Markus; Rump, Steffen; Heidenreich, Torsten; Wissing, Josef; Mendel, Ralf R; Bittner, Florian; Department of Plant Biology, Braunschweig University of Technology, Humboldtstrasse 1, 38023 Braunschweig, Germany. (2012-02-01)
      The Moco (molybdenum cofactor) sulfurase ABA3 from Arabidopsis thaliana catalyses the sulfuration of the Moco of aldehyde oxidase and xanthine oxidoreductase, which represents the final activation step of these enzymes. ABA3 consists of an N-terminal NifS-like domain that exhibits L-cysteine desulfurase activity and a C-terminal domain that binds sulfurated Moco. The strictly conserved Cys430 in the NifS-like domain binds a persulfide intermediate, which is abstracted from the substrate L-cysteine and finally needs to be transferred to the Moco of aldehyde oxidase and xanthine oxidoreductase. In addition to Cys⁴³⁰, another eight cysteine residues are located in the NifS-like domain, with two of them being highly conserved among Moco sulfurase proteins and, at the same time, being in close proximity to Cys⁴³⁰. By determination of the number of surface-exposed cysteine residues and the number of persulfide-binding cysteine residues in combination with the sequential substitution of each of the nine cysteine residues, a second persulfide-binding cysteine residue, Cys²⁰⁶, was identified. Furthermore, the active-site Cys⁴³⁰ was found to be located on top of a loop structure, formed by the two flanking residues Cys⁴²⁸ and Cys⁴³⁵, which are likely to form an intramolecular disulfide bridge. These findings are confirmed by a structural model of the NifS-like domain, which indicates that Cys⁴²⁸ and Cys⁴³⁵ are within disulfide bond distance and that a persulfide transfer from Cys⁴³⁰ to Cys²⁰⁶ is indeed possible.
    • 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.