Ni-Zn-[Fe4-S4] and Ni-Ni-[Fe4-S4] clusters in closed and open subunits of acetyl-CoA synthase/carbon monoxide dehydrogenase. Academic Article uri icon


  • The crystal structure of the tetrameric alpha2beta2 acetyl-coenzyme A synthase/carbon monoxide dehydrogenase from Moorella thermoacetica has been solved at 1.9 A resolution. Surprisingly, the two alpha subunits display different (open and closed) conformations. Furthermore, X-ray data collected from crystals near the absorption edges of several metal ions indicate that the closed form contains one Zn and one Ni at its active site metal cluster (A-cluster) in the alpha subunit, whereas the open form has two Ni ions at the corresponding positions. Alternative metal contents at the active site have been observed in a recent structure of the same protein in which A-clusters contained one Cu and one Ni, and in reconstitution studies of a recombinant apo form of a related acetyl-CoA synthase. On the basis of our observations along with previously reported data, we postulate that only the A-clusters containing two Ni ions are catalytically active.

published proceedings

  • Nat Struct Biol

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Darnault, C., Volbeda, A., Kim, E. J., Legrand, P., Vernde, X., Lindahl, P. A., & Fontecilla-Camps, J. C.

citation count

  • 397

complete list of authors

  • Darnault, Claudine||Volbeda, Anne||Kim, Eun Jin||Legrand, Pierre||Vernède, Xavier||Lindahl, Paul A||Fontecilla-Camps, Juan C

publication date

  • January 2003