A cellular selection identifies elongated flavodoxins that support electron transfer to sulfite reductase

Albert Truong, Dru Myerscough, Ian Campbell, Joshua Atkinson, Jonathan J. Silberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Flavodoxins (Flds) mediate the flux of electrons between oxidoreductases in diverse metabolic pathways. To investigate whether Flds can support electron transfer to a sulfite reductase (SIR) that evolved to couple with a ferredoxin, we evaluated the ability of Flds to transfer electrons from a ferredoxin-NADP reductase (FNR) to a ferredoxin-dependent SIR using growth complementation of an Escherichia coli strain with a sulfur metabolism defect. We show that Flds from cyanobacteria complement this growth defect when coexpressed with an FNR and an SIR that evolved to couple with a plant ferredoxin. When we evaluated the effect of peptide insertion on Fld-mediated electron transfer, we observed a sensitivity to insertions within regions predicted to be proximal to the cofactor and partner binding sites, while a high insertion tolerance was detected within loops distal from the cofactor and within regions of helices and sheets that are proximal to those loops. Bioinformatic analysis showed that natural Fld sequence variability predicts a large fraction of the motifs that tolerate insertion of the octapeptide SGRPGSLS. These results represent the first evidence that Flds can support electron transfer to assimilatory SIRs, and they suggest that the pattern of insertion tolerance is influenced by interactions with oxidoreductase partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere4746
JournalProtein Science
Volume32
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

Keywords

  • cyanobacteria
  • deep sequencing
  • electron transfer
  • ferredoxin
  • flavodoxin
  • mutagenesis
  • protein design
  • selection
  • sulfite reductase
  • synthetic biology

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