Discovery and sequence analysis of bacterial genes involved in the biogenesis of c-type cytochromes

J Biol Chem. 1991 Apr 25;266(12):7793-803.


We report the DNA sequence and mutational analysis of a novel cluster of six Bradyrhizobium japonicum genes of which at least three (designated cycV, cycW, and cycX) are essential for the formation of all cellular c-type cytochromes. Mutants having insertions in these genes were completely devoid of any soluble (periplasmic) or membrane-bound c-type cytochromes; even the apo form of cytochrome c1 was not detectable, neither in the membrane nor in the soluble fraction. As a consequence, the mutants had pleiotropic phenotypes such as defects in nitrate respiration, H2 oxidation, electron transport to cytochrome alpha alpha 3, and microaerobic respiration during symbiosis. A fourth open reading frame (ORF132) encoded a protein that might also be concerned with cytochrome c formation, but perhaps only indirectly. The other two open reading frames did not appear to function in this process. The predicted amino acid sequences of the cycW and cycX gene products suggested that these proteins were membrane-bound. The cycV gene product showed extensive similarity to the ATP-binding subunit of a superfamily of membrane-associated transport systems. The predicted ORF132 product was strikingly similar to bacterial thioredoxins and eukaryotic protein disulfide isomerase. Based on these findings it is possible that these proteins are members of a complex transport system involved in the biogenesis of all cytochromes c.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cytochrome c Group / biosynthesis*
  • Cytochrome c Group / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Rhizobiaceae / genetics*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Cytochrome c Group
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Adenosine Triphosphate

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M60203
  • GENBANK/M60204
  • GENBANK/M60205
  • GENBANK/M60206
  • GENBANK/M60257
  • GENBANK/M60258
  • GENBANK/M60259
  • GENBANK/M60833
  • GENBANK/M60874
  • GENBANK/M62780