Cloning and nucleotide sequence of the structural genes encoding the formate dehydrogenase of Wolinella succinogenes
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The formate dehydrogenase of Wolinella succinogenes is a membraneous molybdo-enzyme which is involved in phosphorylative electron transport. The gene (fdhA) encoding the largest subunit was isolated from a gene bank by immunological screening. The fdhA gene was located in an apparent transcriptional unit (fdh A, B, C. D) together with three more structural genes. The N-terminal sequences of three polypeptides present in the isolated enzyme were found to map within the fdhA, B and C structural genes. A polypeptide corresponding to fdhD was not detected in the enzyme preparation. This suggested that the functional formate dehydrogenase was made up of three or four different subunits.
The genes fdhA and C encode larger preproteins which differ from the corresponding mature proteins by N-terminal signal peptides. The N-terminal half of the mature FdhA is homologous to the larger subunits of the formate dehydrogenases of E. coli (formate-hydrogenlyase linked) and Methanobacterium formicicum as well as to three bacterial reductases containing molybdenum. It harbours a conserved cysteine cluster and two more domains which may be involved in binding the molybdenum cofactor. FdhB may represent an iron-sulphur protein, twelve cysteine residues of which are arranged in two clusters which are typical of ligands of the iron-sulfur centers in ferredoxins. FdhC is a hydrophobic protein with four predicted transmembrane segments, which appears to be identical with the cytochrome b present in the isolated formate dehydrogenase. It may form the membrane anchor of the enzyme and react with the bacterial menaquinone.
Key wordsFormate dehydrogenase Wolinella succinogenes Molybdoenzymes
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