Aberrant attachment of heme to cytochrome by the Ccm system results in a cysteine persulfide linkage.
Sawyer EB., Stephens E., Ferguson SJ., Allen JWA., Barker PD.
The system I cytochrome c maturation (Ccm) apparatus has been shown to handle a wide variety of apocytochrome substrates containing the CX(n)CH heme attachment sequence, where n = 2, 3, or 4 in natural sequences. When n = 5 or 6, the apparatus also appears to handle these substrates correctly, but close inspection reveals that the resulting mature cytochromes are mixtures of species containing extra mass. We have used accurate mass spectrometry to analyze peptide digests of matured Escherichia coli cytochrome cb(562) with n = 1, 5, or 6 and shown that an extra sulfur is sometimes incorporated into the heme-protein linkage. These unprecedented, aberrant persulfide linkages may shed new light upon the mechanism of the attachment of heme to substrate apocytochrome within the Ccm complex of E. coli.