Structural basis for the oxidation of protein-bound sulfur by the sulfur cycle molybdohemo-enzyme sulfane dehydrogenase SoxCD

Ulrich Zander, Annette Faust, Björn U. Klink, Daniele De Sanctis, Santosh Panjikar, Armin Quentmeier, Frank Bardischewsky, Cornelius G. Friedrich, Axel J. Scheidig

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25 Citations (Scopus)


The sulfur cycle enzyme sulfane dehydrogenase SoxCD is an essential component of the sulfur oxidation (Sox) enzyme system of Paracoccus pantotrophus. SoxCD catalyzes a six-electron oxidation reaction within the Sox cycle. SoxCD is an α2β2 heterotetrameric complex of the molybdenum cofactor-containing SoxC protein and the diheme c-type cytochrome SoxD with the heme domains D1 and D2. SoxCD1 misses the heme-2 domain D2 and is catalytically as active as SoxCD. The crystal structure of SoxCD1 was solved at 1.33Å. The substrate of SoxCD is the outer (sulfane) sulfur of Cys-110-persulfide located at the C-terminal peptide swinging arm of SoxY of the SoxYZ carrier complex. The SoxCD1 substrate funnel toward the molybdopterin is narrow and partially shielded by side-chain residues of SoxD1. For access of the sulfane-sulfur of SoxY-Cys-110 persulfide we propose that (i) the blockage by SoxD-Arg-98 is opened via interaction with the C terminus of SoxY and (ii) the C-terminal peptide VTIGGCGG of SoxY provides interactions with the entrance path such that the cysteine-bound persulfide is optimally positioned near the molybdenum atom. The subsequent oxidation reactions of the sulfane-sulfur are initiated by the nucleophilic attack of the persulfide anion on the molybdenum atom that is, in turn, reduced. The close proximity of heme-1 to the molybdopterin allows easy acceptance of the electrons. Because SoxYZ, SoxXA, and SoxB are already structurally characterized, with SoxCD1 the structures of all key enzymes of the Sox cycle are known with atomic resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8349-8360
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

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