Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Many photosynthetic bacteria use inorganic sulfur compounds as electron donors for carbon dioxide fixation. A thiosulfate-induced cytochrome c has been purified from the photosynthetic alpha-proteobacterium Rhodovulum sulfidophilum. This cytochrome c(551) is a heterodimer of a diheme 30-kDa SoxA subunit and a monoheme 15-kDa SoxX subunit. The cytochrome c(551) structural genes are part of an 11-gene sox locus. Sequence analysis suggests that the ligands to the heme iron in SoxX are a methionine and a histidine, while both SoxA hemes are predicted to have unusual cysteine-plus-histidine coordination. A soxA mutant strain is unable to grow photoautotrophically on or oxidize either thiosulfate or sulfide. Cytochrome c(551) is thus essential for the metabolism of both these sulfur species. Periplasmic extracts of wild-type R. sulfidophilum exhibit thiosulfate:cytochrome c oxidoreductase activity. However, such activity can only be measured for a soxA mutant strain if the periplasmic extract is supplemented with purified cytochrome c(551). Gene clusters similar to the R. sulfidophilum sox locus can be found in the genome of a green sulfur bacterium and in phylogenetically diverse nonphotosynthetic autotrophs.

Original publication




Journal article


J Bacteriol

Publication Date





6107 - 6118


Alphaproteobacteria, Amino Acid Sequence, Bacterial Proteins, Cloning, Molecular, Cytochrome c Group, Enzyme Induction, Genes, Bacterial, Marine Biology, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutagenesis, Insertional, Oxidation-Reduction, Oxidoreductases, Periplasm, Photosynthesis, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Sulfides, Thiosulfates, Water Microbiology