Structural basis for the oxidation of thiosulfate by a sulfur cycle enzyme.
Bamford VA., Bruno S., Rasmussen T., Appia-Ayme C., Cheesman MR., Berks BC., Hemmings AM.
Reduced inorganic sulfur compounds are utilized by many bacteria as electron donors to photosynthetic or respiratory electron transport chains. This metabolism is a key component of the biogeochemical sulfur cycle. The SoxAX protein is a heterodimeric c-type cytochrome involved in thiosulfate oxidation. The crystal structures of SoxAX from the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodovulum sulfidophilum have been solved at 1.75 A resolution in the oxidized state and at 1.5 A resolution in the dithionite-reduced state, providing the first structural insights into the enzymatic oxidation of thiosulfate. The SoxAX active site contains a haem with unprecedented cysteine persulfide (cysteine sulfane) coordination. This unusual post-translational modification is also seen in sulfurtransferases such as rhodanese. Intriguingly, this enzyme shares further active site characteristics with SoxAX such as an adjacent conserved arginine residue and a strongly positive electrostatic potential. These similarities have allowed us to suggest a catalytic mechanism for enzymatic thiosulfate oxidation. The atomic coordinates and experimental structure factors have been deposited in the PDB with the accession codes 1H31, 1H32 and 1H33.