A quick solution structure determination of the fully oxidized double mutant K9-10A cytochrome c7 from Desulfuromonas acetoxidans and mechanistic implications

J Biomol NMR. 2002 Feb;22(2):107-22. doi: 10.1023/a:1014202405862.


Lysines 9 and 10 in Desulfuromonas acetoxidans cytochrome c7, which could be involved in the interaction mechanism with the redox partners, have been replaced by alanine residues using site-directed mutagenesis. The solution structure of the fully oxidized form of K9-10A cytochrome c7, which is paramagnetic with three paramagnetic centers, has been determined via 1H NMR. The assignment of the spectra has been performed through an automatic program whose algorithm and strategy are here described. The assignment of the NOESY spectra has been further extended by back calculating the NOESY maps. The final number of meaningful NOE-based upper distance limits was 1186. In the Restrained Energy Minimization calculations, 147 pseudocontact shift constraints were also included, which showed consistency with NOE-based constraints and therefore further contribute to validate the structure quality. A final family of 35 conformers was calculated with RMSD values with respect to the mean structure of 0.69 +/- 0.17 A and 1.05 +/- 0.14 A for the backbone and heavy atoms, respectively. The overall fold of the molecule is maintained with respect to the native protein. The loop present between heme III and heme IV results to be highly disordered also in the present structure although its overall shape mainly resembles that of the oxidized native protein, and the two strands which give rise to the short beta-sheet present at the N-terminus and connected by a turn containing the mutated residues, are less clearly defined. If this loop is neglected, the RMSD values are 0.52 +/- 0.07 A and 0.92 +/- 0.06 A for the backbone and heavy atoms, respectively, which represent a reasonable resolution. The relative distances and orientations of the three hemes are maintained, as well as the orientation of the imidazole rings of the axial histidine ligands, with the only exception of heme IV. Such difference probably reflects minor conformational changes due to the substitution of the vicinal Lys 10 with an Ala. The replacement of the two lysines does not affect the reduction potentials of the three hemes, consistently with the expectations on the basis of the structure and electrostatic calculations. However, the replacement of the two lysines affects the reactivity of the mutant cytochrome c7 with [Fe] hydrogenase, inducing a change in Km. This finding is in agreement with the identification of the protein area around heme IV as the interacting site.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Cytochrome c Group / chemistry*
  • Cytochrome c Group / genetics
  • Cytochrome c Group / metabolism
  • Hydrogenase / metabolism
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins / metabolism
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular / methods*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Protein Conformation
  • Solutions
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Sulfur-Reducing Bacteria / enzymology*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cytochrome c Group
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins
  • Solutions
  • cytochrome C7
  • iron hydrogenase
  • Hydrogenase