Mssbauer and EPR study of recombinant acetyl-CoA synthase from Moorella thermoacetica. Academic Article uri icon


  • Mssbauer and EPR spectroscopies were used to study the electronic structure of the A-cluster from recombinant acetyl-CoA synthase (the alpha subunit of the alpha2beta2 acetyl-CoA synthase/CO dehydrogenase). Once activated with Ni, these subunits have properties mimicking those associated with the alpha2beta2 tetramer, including structural heterogeneities. The Fe4S4 portion of the A-cluster in oxidized, methylated, and acetylated states was in the 2+ core oxidation state. Upon reduction with dithionite or Ti3+ citrate, samples of Ni-activated alpha developed the ability to accept a methyl group. Corresponding Mssbauer spectra exhibited two populations of A-clusters; roughly, 70% contained [Fe4S4]1+ cubanes, while approximately 30% contained [Fe4S4]2+ cubanes, suggesting an extremely low [Fe4S4](1+/2+) reduction potential for the 30% portion (perhaps <-800 mV vs NHE). The same population ratio was observed when Ni-free unactivated alpha was used. The 70% fraction exhibited paramagnetic hyperfine structure in the absence of an applied magnetic field, excluding the possibility that it represents an [Fe4S4]1+ cluster coupled to a (proximal) Ni(p)1+. EPR spectra of dithionite-reduced, Ni-activated alpha exhibited features at g = 5.8 and g(ave) approximately 1.93, consistent with a physical mixture of {S = 3/2; S = 1/2} spin-states for A-clusters containing [Fe4S4]1+ clusters. Incubation of Ni-activated alpha with dithionite and CO converted 25% of alpha subunits into the S = 1/2 A(red)-CO state. Previous correlation of this state to functional A-clusters suggests that only the 30% fraction not reduced by dithionite or Ti3+ citrate represents functional A-clusters. Comparison of spin states in oxidized and methylated states suggests that two electrons are required for reductive activation, starting from the oxidized state containing Ni(p)2+. Refitting published activity-vs-potential data supports an n = 2 reductive activation. Enzyme starting in the methylated state exhibited catalytic activity in the absence of an external reductant, suggesting that the two electrons used in reductive activation are retained by the enzyme after each catalytic cycle and that the enzyme does not have to pass through the A(red)-CO state during catalysis. Taken together, our results suggest that a Ni(p)0 state may form upon reductive activation and reform after each catalytic cycle.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Bramlett, M. R., Stubna, A., Tan, X., Surovtsev, I. V., Mnck, E., & Lindahl, P. A.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Bramlett, Matthew R||Stubna, Audria||Tan, Xiangshi||Surovtsev, Ivan V||M√ľnck, Eckard||Lindahl, Paul A

publication date

  • July 2006