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Cooperative use of cytochrome cd1 nitrite reductase and its redox partner cytochrome c552 to Improve the selectivity of nitrite biosensing, A.S., Serra, S. Jorge, C. Silveira, J.J.G. Moura, E. Jubete, E. Ochoteco, and G. Almeida M. , Anal Chim Acta, Volume 693, p.41-46, (2011)
Using cytochrome c(3) to make selenium nanowires, Abdelouas, A., Gong W. L., Lutze W., Shelnutt J. A., Franco R., and Moura I. , Chemistry of Materials, Jun, Volume 12, Number 6, p.1510-+, (2000) AbstractWebsite

We report on a new method to make nanostructures in aqueous solution at room temperature. We used the protein cytochrome c(3) to catalyze reduction of selenate (SeO42-) to selenium Se-0 by dithionite. Reduction was instantaneous. After a week spherical nanoparticles of red Se-0 (about 50 nm diameter) precipitated, followed by self-assembling into crystalline nanowires, typically 1 mu m long. The nanowires were composed of one strand of spherical particles; thicker strands contained several nanoparticles in parallel.

Nitrite Biosensing via Selective Enzymes-A Long but Promising Route, Almeida, M. G., Serra A., Silveira C. M., and Moura J. J. , Sensors, Volume 10, Number 12, p.11530-55, (2010) AbstractWebsite

The last decades have witnessed a steady increase of the social and political awareness for the need of monitoring and controlling environmental and industrial processes. In the case of nitrite ion, due to its potential toxicity for human health, the European Union has recently implemented a number of rules to restrict its level in drinking waters and food products. Although several analytical protocols have been proposed for nitrite quantification, none of them enable a reliable and quick analysis of complex samples. An alternative approach relies on the construction of biosensing devices using stable enzymes, with both high activity and specificity for nitrite. In this paper we review the current state-of-the-art in the field of electrochemical and optical biosensors using nitrite reducing enzymes as biorecognition elements and discuss the opportunities and challenges in this emerging market.

Predicting Protein-Protein Interactions Using BiGGER: Case Studies, Almeida, R. M., Dell'Acqua S., Krippahl L., Moura J. J. G., and Pauleta S. R. , Molecules, Volume 21, p.1037, (2016) Website
Proteómica: a Interface entre a Biologia Molecular e a Biochemistry de Proteínas, Almeida, G., Rodrigues C., and Lampreia J. , Bol. Soc. Port. Química, Volume 82, p.49-56, (2001) Abstract
Electron transfer and molecular recognition in denitrification and nitrate dissimilatory pathways, Almeida, R. M., Dell'Acqua S., Moura I., Pauleta S. R., and Moura J. J. G. , Metalloenzymes in Denitrification: Applications and Environmental Impacts, RSC Metallobiology Series No. 9 (ISBN: 978-1-78262-376-2)., p.252-286, (2017)
Biosensing nitrite using the system nitrite redutase/Nafion/methyl viologen--a voltammetric study, Almeida, M. G., Silveira C. M., and Moura J. J. , Biosens Bioelectron, May 15, Volume 22, Number 11, p.2485-92, (2007) AbstractWebsite

This work describes the construction and voltammetric characterization of a nitrite biosensor based on a cytochrome c-type nitrite reductase (ccNiR) and the Nafion ionomeric matrix loaded with methyl viologen as redox mediator. Despite the potential electrostatic repulsions between the anionic substrate and the Nafion sulfonate groups, the resulting bioelectrode exhibited electrocatalytic activity toward nitrite. This phenomenon must be due to the nonuniformity of the enzyme/Nafion membrane, which allows the direct interaction between the substrate and numerous enzyme molecules. Nevertheless, the anionic nature of Nafion exerted a certain diffusion barrier to nitrite, as revealed by the unusually elevated limits of the linear dynamic range and k(m)(app). The irregularity of the composite membrane also contributed to slow down the rate of charge transfer throughout the Nafion polymer. The level of viologens incorporated within the Nafion membrane had a strong influence in the analytical parameters: as much mediator was present, lower was the sensitivity and wider was the linear range. For an optimized ratio enzyme/mediator the sensitivity was 445+/-8 mA M(-1)cm(-2), within the linear range 75-800 microM; the lowest detected nitrite concentration was 60 microM. The operational stability of the biosensor and the influence of some possible interferences were evaluated.

A needle in a haystack: the active site of the membrane-bound complex cytochrome c nitrite reductase, Almeida, M. G., Silveira C. M., Guigliarelli B., Bertrand P., Moura J. J., Moura I., and Leger C. , FEBS Lett, Jan 23, Volume 581, Number 2, p.284-8, (2007) AbstractWebsite

Cytochrome c nitrite reductase is a multicenter enzyme that uses a five-coordinated heme to perform the six-electron reduction of nitrite to ammonium. In the sulfate reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774, the enzyme is purified as a NrfA2NrfH complex that houses 14 hemes. The number of closely-spaced hemes in this enzyme and the magnetic interactions between them make it very difficult to study the active site by using traditional spectroscopic approaches such as EPR or UV-Vis. Here, we use both catalytic and non-catalytic protein film voltammetry to simply and unambiguously determine the reduction potential of the catalytic heme over a wide range of pH and we demonstrate that proton transfer is coupled to electron transfer at the active site.

Rubredoxin as a paramagnetic relaxation-inducing probe, Almeida, R. M., Pauleta S. R., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , J Inorg Biochem, Sep, Volume 103, Number 9, p.1245-53, (2009) AbstractWebsite

The paramagnetic effect due to the presence of a metal center with unpaired electrons is no longer considered a hindrance in protein NMR spectroscopy. In the present work, the paramagnetic effect due to the presence of a metal center with unpaired electrons was used to map the interface of an electron transfer complex. Desulfovibrio gigas cytochrome c(3) was chosen as target to study the effect of the paramagnetic probe, Fe-rubredoxin, which produced specific line broadening in the heme IV methyl resonances M2(1) and M18(1). The rubredoxin binding surface in the complex with cytochrome c(3) was identified in a heteronuclear 2D NMR titration. The identified heme methyls on cytochrome c(3) are involved in the binding interface of the complex, a result that is in agreement with the predicted complexes obtained by restrained molecular docking, which shows a cluster of possible solutions near heme IV. The use of a paramagnetic probe in (1)HNMR titration and the mapping of the complex interface, in combination with a molecular simulation algorithm proved to be a valuable strategy to study electron transfer complexes involving non-heme iron proteins and cytochromes.

Biossensores: Modernas Ferramentas para Monitorização e Controlo Analítico, Almeida, M. G. , Bol. Biotecnol. , Volume 79, p.12-23, (2004) Abstract
Gd(III) chelates as NMR probes of protein-protein interactions. Case study: rubredoxin and cytochrome c3, Almeida, R. M., Geraldes C. F., Pauleta S. R., and Moura J. J. , Inorg Chem, Nov 7, Volume 50, Number 21, p.10600-7, (2011) AbstractWebsite

Two cyclen-derived Gd probes, [Gd-DOTAM](3+) and [Gd-DOTP](5-) (DOTAM = 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetamide; DOTP = 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetrakis(methylenephosphonate)), were assessed as paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE)-inducing probes for characterization of protein-protein interactions. Two proteins, Desulfovibrio gigas rubredoxin and Desulfovibrio gigas cytochrome c(3), were used as model partners. In a (1)H NMR titration it was shown that [Gd-DOTP](5-) binds to cytochrome c(3) near heme IV, causing pronounced PREs, characterized by line width broadenings of the heme methyl resonances at ratios as low as 0.08. A K(d) of 23 +/- 1 muM was calculated based on chemical shift perturbation of selected heme methyl resonances belonging to three different heme groups, caused by allosteric effects upon [Gd-DOTP](5-) binding to cytochrome c(3) at a molar ratio of 2. The other probe, [Gd-DOTAM](3+), caused PREs on a well-defined patch near the metal center of rubredoxin (especially the patch constituted by residues D19-G23 and W37-S45, which broaden beyond detection). This effect was partially reversed for some resonances (C6-Y11, in particular) when cytochrome c(3) was added to this system. Both probes were successful in causing reversible PREs at the partner binding site, thus showing to be good probes to identify partners' binding sites and since the interaction is reversible to structurally characterize protein complexes by better defining the complex interface.

The isolation and characterization of cytochrome c nitrite reductase subunits (NrfA and NrfH) from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774. Re-evaluation of the spectroscopic data and redox properties, Almeida, M. G., Macieira S., Goncalves L. L., Huber R., Cunha C. A., Romao M. J., Costa C., Lampreia J., Moura J. J., and Moura I. , Eur J Biochem, Oct, Volume 270, Number 19, p.3904-15, (2003) AbstractWebsite

The cytochrome c nitrite reductase is isolated from the membranes of the sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774 as a heterooligomeric complex composed by two subunits (61 kDa and 19 kDa) containing c-type hemes, encoded by the genes nrfA and nrfH, respectively. The extracted complex has in average a 2NrfA:1NrfH composition. The separation of ccNiR subunits from one another is accomplished by gel filtration chromatography in the presence of SDS. The amino-acid sequence and biochemical subunits characterization show that NrfA contains five hemes and NrfH four hemes. These considerations enabled the revision of a vast amount of existing spectroscopic data on the NrfHA complex that was not originally well interpreted due to the lack of knowledge on the heme content and the oligomeric enzyme status. Based on EPR and Mossbauer parameters and their correlation to structural information recently obtained from X-ray crystallography on the NrfA structure [Cunha, C.A., Macieira, S., Dias, J.M., Almeida, M.G., Goncalves, L.M.L., Costa, C., Lampreia, J., Huber, R., Moura, J.J.G., Moura, I. & Romao, M. (2003) J. Biol. Chem. 278, 17455-17465], we propose the full assignment of midpoint reduction potentials values to the individual hemes. NrfA contains the high-spin catalytic site (-80 mV) as well as a quite unusual high reduction potential (+150 mV)/low-spin bis-His coordinated heme, considered to be the site where electrons enter. In addition, the reassessment of the spectroscopic data allowed the first partial spectroscopic characterization of the NrfH subunit. The four NrfH hemes are all in a low-spin state (S = 1/2). One of them has a gmax at 3.55, characteristic of bis-histidinyl iron ligands in a noncoplanar arrangement, and has a positive reduction potential.

Construção de um Bio-Eléctrodo Específico para Determinação de Nitritos, Almeida, M. G., Tavares P., and Moura J. J. G. , Bol. Soc. Port. Química, Volume 84, p.68-71, (2002) Abstract
Superoxide reductase: different interaction modes with its two redox partners, Almeida, R. A., Turano P., Moura I., Moura J. J. G., and Pauleta S. R. , ChemBioChem, Volume 14, p.1858–1866, (2013)
Purification and characterization of a tungsten-containing formate dehydrogenase from Desulfovibrio gigas, Almendra, M. J., Brondino C. D., Gavel O., Pereira A. S., Tavares P., Bursakov S., Duarte R., Caldeira J., Moura J. J., and Moura I. , Biochemistry, Dec 7, Volume 38, Number 49, p.16366-72, (1999) AbstractWebsite

An air-stable formate dehydrogenase (FDH), an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of formate to carbon dioxide, was purified from the sulfate reducing organism Desulfovibrio gigas (D. gigas) NCIB 9332. D. gigas FDH is a heterodimeric protein [alpha (92 kDa) and beta (29 kDa) subunits] and contains 7 +/- 1 Fe/protein and 0.9 +/- 0.1 W/protein. Selenium was not detected. The UV/visible absorption spectrum of D. gigas FDH is typical of an iron-sulfur protein. Analysis of pterin nucleotides yielded a content of 1.3 +/- 0.1 guanine monophosphate/mol of enzyme, which suggests a tungsten coordination with two molybdopterin guanine dinucleotide cofactors. Both Mossbauer spectroscopy performed on D. gigas FDH grown in a medium enriched with (57)Fe and EPR studies performed in the native and fully reduced state of the protein confirmed the presence of two [4Fe-4S] clusters. Variable-temperature EPR studies showed the presence of two signals compatible with an atom in a d(1) configuration albeit with an unusual relaxation behavior as compared to the one generally observed for W(V) ions.

A cytochrome c peroxidase from Pseudomonas nautica 617 active at high ionic strength: expression, purification and characterization, Alves, T., Besson S., Duarte L. C., Pettigrew G. W., Girio F. M. F., Devreese B., Vandenberghe I., Van Beeumen J., Fauque G., and Moura I. , Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-Protein Structure and Molecular Enzymology, Oct 12, Volume 1434, Number 2, p.248-259, (1999) AbstractWebsite

Cytochrome c peroxidase was expressed in cells of Pseudomonas nautica strain 617 grown under microaerophilic conditions. The 36.5 kDa dihaemic enzyme was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity in three chromatographic steps. N-terminal sequence comparison showed that the Ps. nautica enzyme exhibits a high similarity with the corresponding proteins from Paracoccus denitrificans and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. UV-visible spectra confirm calcium activation of the enzyme through spin state transition of the peroxidatic haem. Monohaemic cytochrome c(552) from Ps. nautica was identified as the physiological electron donor, with a half-saturating concentration of 122 mu M and allowing a maximal catalytic centre activity of 116 000 min(-1). Using this cytochrome the enzyme retained the same activity even at high ionic strength. There are indications that the interactions between the two redox partners are mainly hydrophobic in nature. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Broad-temperature range spectroscopy of the two-centre modular redox metalloprotein Desulfovibrio desulfuricans desulfoferrodoxin, Andersen, N. H., Harnung S. E., Trabjerg I., Moura I., Moura J. J. G., and Ulstrup J. , Dalton Transactions, Sep 7, Number 17, p.3328-3338, (2003) AbstractWebsite

The electronic-vibrational couplings of the two-centre non-heme iron protein Desulfovibrio desulfuricans desulfoferrodoxin (DFx) in three oxidation states, i.e. fully oxidised (grey), half-oxidised (pink), and fully reduced (colourless), have been investigated by variable temperature (VT) UV/VIS, MCD, CD, and EPR spectroscopy. The UV/VIS spectra of grey DFx at room temperature is characterised by broad charge transfer (CT) transitions associated with oxidised centre 1 (495 and 368 nm) and II (335 and 635 nm). The transitions are resolved at 78 K, substantiated by VT-MCD and -CD. The data offer novel information about the electronic-vibrational couplings of the transitions. Multiphonon bandshape analysis discloses strong contributions from both local Fe-S and S-C stretching and solvent/protein modes. A number of transitions are blue- or red-shifted compared with monomeric desulforedoxin, superoxide reductase or dismutase, and cloned Desulfovibrio vulgaris DFx fragments. Conversion from grey to pink DFx is accompanied by drastic electronic-vibrational changes of both centres. The data suggest that electron transfer and optical CT-transitions of DFx are controlled by environmental reorganization in the whole region between the metal centres.

Kinetic behavior of Desulfovibrio gigas aldehyde oxidoreductase encapsulated in reverse micelles, Andrade, S. L., Brondino C. D., Kamenskaya E. O., Levashov A. V., and Moura J. J. , Biochem Biophys Res Commun, Aug 15, Volume 308, Number 1, p.73-8, (2003) AbstractWebsite

We report the kinetic behavior of the enzyme aldehyde oxidoreductase (AOR) from the sulfate reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio gigas (Dg) encapsulated in reverse micelles of sodium bis-(2-ethylhexyl) sulfosuccinate in isooctane using benzaldehyde, octaldehyde, and decylaldehyde as substrates. Dg AOR is a 200-kDa homodimeric protein that catalyzes the conversion of aldehydes to carboxylic acids. Ultrasedimentation analysis of Dg AOR-containing micelles showed the presence of 100-kDa molecular weight species, confirming that the Dg AOR subunits can be dissociated. UV-visible spectra of encapsulated Dg AOR are indistinguishable from the enzyme spectrum in solution, suggesting that both protein fold and metal cofactor are kept intact upon encapsulation. The catalytic constant (k(cat)) profile as a function of the micelle size W(0) (W(0)=[H(2)O]/[AOT]) using benzaldehyde as substrate showed two bell-shaped activity peaks at W(0)=20 and 26. Furthermore, enzymatic activity for octaldehyde and decylaldehyde was detected only in reverse micelles. Like for the benzaldehyde kinetics, two peaks with both similar k(cat) values and W(0) positions were obtained. EPR studies using spin-labeled reverse micelles indicated that octaldehyde and benzaldehyde are intercalated in the micelle membrane. This suggests that, though Dg AOR is found in the cytoplasm of bacterial cells, the enzyme may catalyze the reaction of substrates incorporated into a cell membrane.

Aldehyde oxidoreductase activity in Desulfovibrio alaskensis NCIMB 13491 EPR assignment of the proximal [2Fe-2S] cluster to the Mo site, Andrade, S. L., Brondino C. D., Feio M. J., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , Eur J Biochem, Apr, Volume 267, Number 7, p.2054-61, (2000) AbstractWebsite

A novel molybdenum iron-sulfur-containing aldehyde oxidoreductase (AOR) belonging to the xanthine oxidase family was isolated and characterized from the sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio alaskensis NCIMB 13491, a strain isolated from a soured oil reservoir in Purdu Bay, Alaska. D. alaskensis AOR is closely related to other AORs isolated from the Desulfovibrio genus. The protein is a 97-kDa homodimer, with 0.6 +/- 0.1 Mo, 3.6 +/- 0.1 Fe and 0.9 +/- 0.1 pterin cytosine dinucleotides per monomer. The enzyme catalyses the oxidation of aldehydes to their carboxylic acid form, following simple Michaelis-Menten kinetics, with the following parameters (for benzaldehyde): K(app/m)= 6.65 microM; V app = 13.12 microM.min(-1); k(app/cat) = 0.96 s(-1). Three different EPR signals were recorded upon long reduction of the protein with excess dithionite: an almost axial signal split by hyperfine interaction with one proton associated with Mo(V) species and two rhombic signals with EPR parameters and relaxation behavior typical of [2Fe-2S] clusters termed Fe/S I and Fe/S II, respectively. EPR results reveal the existence of magnetic interactions between Mo(V) and one of the Fe/S clusters, as well as between the two Fe/S clusters. Redox titration monitored by EPR yielded midpoint redox potentials of -275 and -325 mV for the Fe/S I and Fe/S II, respectively. The redox potential gap between the two clusters is large enough to obtain differentiated populations of these paramagnetic centers. This fact, together with the observed interactions among paramagnetic centers, was used to assign the EPR-distinguishable Fe/S I and Fe/S II to those seen in the reported crystal structures of homologous enzymes.

Hydrogen evolution and consumption in AOT-isooctane reverse micelles by Desulfovibrio gigas hydrogenase, Andrade, S. L. A., and Moura J. J. G. , Enzyme and Microbial Technology, Sep 2, Volume 31, Number 4, p.398-402, (2002) AbstractWebsite

The enzyme hydrogenase isolated from the sulphate reducing anaerobic bacterium Desulfovibrio gigas was encapsulated in reverse micelles of AOT-water-isooctane. The enzyme ability to consume molecular hydrogen was studied as a function of the micelle size (given by W-o = [H2O]/[organic solvent]). A peak of catalytic activity was obtained for W-o = 18, a micelle size theoretically fitting the heterodimeric hydrogenase molecule. At this W-o value, the recorded catalytic activity was slightly higher than in a buffer system (K-cat = 169.43 s(-1) against the buffer value of 151 s(-1)). The optimal buffer used to encapsulate the enzyme was found to be imidazole 50 mM, pH 9.0, The molecular hydrogen production activity was also tested in this reverse micelle medium. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All lights reserved.

Encapsulation of flavodoxin in reverse micelles, Andrade, S., Kamenskaya E. O., Levashov A. V., and Moura J. J. , Biochem Biophys Res Commun, May 29, Volume 234, Number 3, p.651-4, (1997) AbstractWebsite

The regulation of the properties of Desulfovibrio gigas flavodoxin in AOT/water/iso-octane micellar system was studied. UV-visible spectroscopic studies have shown that photoreduction of flavodoxin in the presence of EDTA leads to hydroquinone formation through the intermediate semiquinone. The [free FMN] - [bound to flavodoxin FMN] equilibrium (and hence, the amount of apoprotein) depends on redox state of FMN and on hydration degree which controls the micellar size. Thus, a new method of reversible cofactor removing under mild conditions (at low hydration degree of micelles) is suggested, accompained by isolation of apo-form of the protein.

Core dimensions in the 3Fe cluster of Desulfovibrio gigas ferredoxin II by extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy, Antonio, M. R., Averill B. A., Moura I., Moura J. J., Orme-Johnson W. H., Teo B. K., and Xavier A. V. , J Biol Chem, Jun 25, Volume 257, Number 12, p.6646-9, (1982) AbstractWebsite

We have obtained the iron K-edge extended X-ray adsorption fine structure spectra of the 3Fe ferredoxin II of Desulfovibrio gigas in the oxidized and reduced states. For both states, interpretation of the EXAFS data suggests that the Fe-S first shell coordination distance is near 2.25 A, in agreement with crystallographic studies of model compounds and proteins containing 2Fe-2S and 4Fe-4S centers, as well as with a recent crystallographic study of Azotobacter vinelandii ferredoxin I (Ghosh, D., Furey, W., Jr., O'Donnell, S., and Stout, C. D. (1981) J. Biol. Chem. 256, 4185-4192). The apparent Fe-Fe distance we obtain for the desulfovibrio protein (2.7 A) also agrees with similar distances seen in other Fe-S centers, except with the 3Fe cluster in the Azotobacter vinelandii ferredoxin I structure, for which an Fe-Fe distance of 4.2 A was reported. We conclude that either the two 3Fe ferredoxins have substantially different core dimensions, a possibility apparently unique to 3Fe centers among known Fe-S systems in proteins, or that one (or more) of the structural studies is in substantial error.

Structural studies by X-ray diffraction on metal substituted desulforedoxin, a rubredoxin-type protein, Archer, M., Carvalho A. L., Teixeira S., Moura I., Moura J. J., Rusnak F., and Romao M. J. , Protein Sci, Jul, Volume 8, Number 7, p.1536-45, (1999) AbstractWebsite

Desulforedoxin (Dx), isolated from the sulfate reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio gigas, is a small homodimeric (2 x 36 amino acids) protein. Each subunit contains a high-spin iron atom tetrahedrally bound to four cysteinyl sulfur atoms, a metal center similar to that found in rubredoxin (Rd) type proteins. The simplicity of the active center in Dx and the possibility of replacing the iron by other metals make this protein an attractive case for the crystallographic analysis of metal-substituted derivatives. This study extends the relevance of Dx to the bioinorganic chemistry field and is important to obtain model compounds that can mimic the four sulfur coordination of metals in biology. Metal replacement experiments were carried out by reconstituting the apoprotein with In3+, Ga3+, Cd2+, Hg2+, and Ni2+ salts. The In3+ and Ga3+ derivatives are isomorphous with the iron native protein; whereas Cd2+, Hg2+, and Ni2+ substituted Dx crystallized under different experimental conditions, yielding two additional crystal morphologies; their structures were determined by the molecular replacement method. A comparison of the three-dimensional structures for all metal derivatives shows that the overall secondary and tertiary structures are maintained, while some differences in metal coordination geometry occur, namely, bond lengths and angles of the metal with the sulfur ligands. These data are discussed in terms of the entatic state theory.

Crystal structure of desulforedoxin from Desulfovibrio gigas determined at 1.8 A resolution: a novel non-heme iron protein structure, Archer, M., Huber R., Tavares P., Moura I., Moura J. J., Carrondo M. A., Sieker L. C., Legall J., and Romao M. J. , J Mol Biol, Sep 1, Volume 251, Number 5, p.690-702, (1995) AbstractWebsite

The crystal structure of desulforedoxin from Desulfovibrio gigas, a new homo-dimeric (2 x 36 amino acids) non-heme iron protein, has been solved by the SIRAS method using the indium-substituted protein as the single derivative. The structure was refined to a crystallographic R-factor of 16.9% at 1.8 A resolution. Native desulforedoxin crystals were grown from either PEG 4K or lithium sulfate, with cell constants a = b = 42.18 A, c = 72.22 A (for crystals grown from PEG 4K), and they belong to space group P3(2)21. The indium-substituted protein crystallized isomorphously under the same conditions. The 2-fold symmetric dimer is firmly hydrogen bonded and folds as an incomplete beta-barrel with the two iron centers placed on opposite poles of the molecule. Each iron atom is coordinated to four cysteinyl residues in a distorted tetrahedral arrangement. Both iron atoms are 16 A apart but connected across the 2-fold axis by 14 covalent bonds along the polypeptide chain plus two hydrogen bonds. Desulforedoxin and rubredoxin share some structural features but show significant differences in terms of metal environment and water structure, which account for the known spectroscopic differences between rubredoxin and desulforedoxin.

Desulfoferrodoxin: a modular protein, Ascenso, C., Rusnak F., Cabrito I., Lima M. J., Naylor S., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Dec, Volume 5, Number 6, p.720-9, (2000) AbstractWebsite

The gene encoding the non-heme iron-containing desulfoferrodoxin from Desulfovibrio vulgaris was cloned in two fragments in order to obtain polypeptides corresponding to the N- and C-terminal domains observed in the tertiary structure. These fragments were expressed in Escherichia coli, purified to homogeneity and biochemically and spectroscopically characterized. Both recombinant fragments behaved as independent metal-binding domains. The N-terminal fragment exhibited properties similar to desulforedoxin, as expected by the presence of a Fe(S-Cys)4 metal binding motif. The C-terminal fragment, which accommodates a Fe(Nepsilon-His)3(Ndelta-His)(S-Cys) center, was shown to have properties similar to neelaredoxin, except for the reaction with superoxide. The activities of desulfoferrodoxin and of the expressed C-terminal fragment were tested with superoxide in the presence and absence of cytochrome c. The results are consistent with superoxide reductase activity and a possible explanation for the low superoxide consumption in the superoxide dismutase activity assays is proposed.