Slr0077 of Synechocystis has cysteine desulfurase as well as cystine lyase activity

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Jul 23;320(2):571-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.06.007.


NifS-like proteins activate sulfur for a variety of biosynthetic purposes. The genome of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis contains 4 nifS-related sequences of which only the slr0077 gene seems to be essential. In this report the heterologous production of the Slr0077 protein, its purification, and catalytic properties are described. Slr0077 produces alanine as well as pyruvate from cyst(e)ine as substrate; the product ratio depends on the redox conditions. Alanine is the typical product of orthodox NifS proteins, pyruvate formation is typical of the cystine lyase of Synechocystis which is the most peculiar member of the NifS protein family. The specific activities of Slr0077 for both reaction types are low as compared to the prototypic enzymes. Upon reaction with thiol-alkylating agents Slr0077 is not readily inactivated unlike NifS. The unique properties of Slr0077 add to the emerging picture that the NifS family of proteins comprises enzymes with a variety of distinct reactivities.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Carbon-Sulfur Lyases / chemistry
  • Carbon-Sulfur Lyases / genetics
  • Carbon-Sulfur Lyases / metabolism*
  • Cyanobacteria / enzymology
  • Cyanobacteria / genetics*
  • Cysteine / metabolism
  • DNA Primers
  • Lyases / chemistry
  • Lyases / genetics
  • Lyases / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • DNA Primers
  • Lyases
  • Carbon-Sulfur Lyases
  • cysteine desulfurase
  • cysteine lyase
  • Cysteine