Methionine sulfoxide reduction and assimilation in Escherichia coli: new role for the biotin sulfoxide reductase BisC

J Bacteriol. 2005 Jan;187(1):231-7. doi: 10.1128/JB.187.1.231-237.2005.


Methionine ranks among the amino acids most sensitive to oxidation, which converts it to a racemic mixture of methionine-S-sulfoxide (Met-S-SO) and methionine-R-sulfoxide (Met-R-SO). The methionine sulfoxide reductases MsrA and MsrB reduce free and protein-bound MetSO, MsrA being specific for Met-S-SO and MsrB for Met-R-SO. In the present study, we report that an Escherichia coli metB1 auxotroph lacking both msrA and msrB is still able to use either of the two MetSO enantiomers. This indicates that additional methionine sulfoxide reductase activities occur in E. coli. BisC, a poorly characterized biotin sulfoxide reductase, was identified as one of these new methionine sulfoxide reductases. BisC was purified and found to exhibit reductase activity with free Met-S-SO but not with free Met-R-SO as a substrate. Moreover, a metB1 msrA msrB bisC strain of E. coli was unable to use Met-S-SO for growth, but it retained the ability to use Met-R-SO. Mass spectrometric analyses indicated that BisC is unable to reduce protein-bound Met-S-SO. Hence, this study shows that BisC has an essential role in assimilation of oxidized methionines. Moreover, this work provides the first example of an enzyme that reduces free MetSO while having no activity on peptide-bound MetSO residues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / physiology*
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Methionine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Methionine / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oxidoreductases / physiology*


  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Methionine
  • Oxidoreductases
  • biotin sulfoxide reductase
  • methionine sulfoxide