Two distinct heterodisulfide reductase-like enzymes in the sulfate-reducing archaeon Archaeoglobus profundus

Eur J Biochem. 2004 Mar;271(6):1106-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-1033.2004.04013.x.


Heterodisulfide reductase (Hdr) is a unique disulfide reductase that plays a key role in the energy metabolism of methanogenic archaea. Two types of Hdr have been identified and characterized from distantly related methanogens. Here we show that the sulfate-reducing archaeon Archaeoglobus profundus cultivated on H2/sulfate forms enzymes related to both types of Hdr. From the membrane fraction of A. profundus, a two-subunit enzyme (HmeCD) composed of a b-type cytochrome and a hydrophilic iron-sulfur protein was isolated. The amino-terminal sequences of these subunits revealed high sequence identities to subunits HmeC and HmeD of the Hme complex from A. fulgidus. HmeC and HmeD in turn are closely related to subunits HdrE and HdrD of Hdr from Methanosarcina spp. From the soluble fraction of A. profundus a six-subunit enzyme complex (Mvh:Hdl) containing Ni, iron-sulfur clusters and FAD was isolated. Via amino-terminal sequencing, the encoding genes were identified in the genome of the closely related species A. fulgidus in which these genes are clustered. They encode a three-subunit [NiFe] hydrogenase with high sequence identity to the F420-nonreducing hydrogenase from Methanothermobacter spp. while the remaining three polypeptides are related to the three-subunit heterodisulfide reductase from Methanothermobacter spp. The oxidized enzyme exhibited an unusual EPR spectrum with gxyz = 2.014, 1.939 and 1.895 similar to that observed for oxidized Hme and Hdr. Upon reduction with H2 this signal was no longer detectable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Archaeal Proteins / genetics
  • Archaeal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Archaeoglobus / enzymology*
  • Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Heme / metabolism
  • Hydrogen / chemistry
  • Hydrogen / metabolism
  • Hydrogenase / genetics
  • Hydrogenase / metabolism
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins / chemistry
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins / genetics
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multienzyme Complexes / genetics
  • Multienzyme Complexes / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidoreductases / chemistry
  • Oxidoreductases / genetics
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sulfates / metabolism


  • Archaeal Proteins
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Sulfates
  • Heme
  • Hydrogen
  • Oxidoreductases
  • nickel-iron hydrogenase
  • Hydrogenase
  • heterodisulfide reductase