- The auxiliary protein hypX provides oxygen tolerance to the soluble [NiFe]-hydrogenase of Ralstonia eutropha H16 by way of a cyanide ligand to nickel.
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)
The hypX gene of the facultative lithoautotrophic bacterium Ralstonia eutropha is part of a cassette of accessory genes (the hyp cluster) required for the proper assembly of the active site of the [NiFe]-hydrogenases in the bacterium. A deletion of the hypX gene led to a severe growth retardation under lithoautotrophic conditions with 5 or 15% oxygen, when the growth was dependent on the activity of the soluble NAD+-reducing hydrogenase. The enzymatic and infrared spectral properties of the soluble hydrogenase purified from a HypX-negative strain were compared with those from an enzyme purified from a HypX-positive strain. In activity assays under anaerobic conditions both enzyme preparations behaved the same. Under aerobic conditions, however, the mutant enzyme became irreversibly inactivated during H2 oxidation with NAD+ or benzyl viologen as the electron acceptor. Infrared spectra and chemical determination of cyanide showed that one of the four cyanide groups in the wild-type enzyme was missing in the mutant enzyme. The data are consistent with the proposal that the HypX protein is specifically involved in the biosynthetic pathway that delivers the nickel-bound cyanide. The data support the proposal that this cyanide is crucial for the enzyme to function under aerobic conditions.
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