NADH-dependent methemoglobin reductase from the obligate aerobe Vitreoscilla: improved method of purification and reexamination of prosthetic groups

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1992 Jan;292(1):29-33. doi: 10.1016/0003-9861(92)90046-y.


The NADH-dependent methemoglobin reductase from the bacterium Vitreoscilla was purified using hydrophobic chromatography on a phenyl-Sepharose column. The new procedure resulted in a purer protein and increased the overall yield of the enzyme by a factor of approximately three. The active site of the enzyme was investigated by ultraviolet/visible, fluorescence, Mössbauer, and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR) at 9.4 GHz. Prosthetic group analysis revealed the presence of one FAD per active enzyme molecule but no iron in contrast to earlier reports. The NADH-methemoglobin reductase activity of the pure enzyme was in the range of 1.1-1.25 units; its electronic and fluorescence spectra were typical of metal-free flavoproteins. No EPR signals were detected between 5 and 150 K over a field range 0.05-0.5 T, and there was no Mössbauer signal, consistent with the absence of iron. Methemoglobin reductase from Vitreoscilla was reduced by dithionite, NADH, and deazaflavin/EDTA upon illumination. The main species observed during these anaerobic oxidation-reduction experiments was the blue semiquinone radical with an EPR signal at g = 2.005, linewidth 1.5 mT. The fully reduced state of the enzyme, FlredH3, was also observed in the reaction with NADH. The reduction was fully reversible with ferricyanide. The observations reported here are consistent with a redox enzyme interacting both with a two-electron donating agent such as NADH and a one-electron accepting center such as the Fe(III)/Fe(II) couple of Vitreoscilla hemoglobin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aerobiosis
  • Cytochrome-B(5) Reductase / chemistry
  • Cytochrome-B(5) Reductase / isolation & purification*
  • Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
  • NAD / isolation & purification*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet
  • Thiotrichaceae / chemistry
  • Thiotrichaceae / enzymology*


  • NAD
  • Cytochrome-B(5) Reductase