The bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens displays an extraordinary respiratory versatility underpinning the diversity of electron donors and acceptors that can be used to sustain anaerobic growth. Remarkably, G. sulfurreducens can also use as electron donors the reduced forms of some acceptors, such as the humic substance analog anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS), a feature that confers environmentally competitive advantages to the organism. Using UV-visible and stopped-flow kinetic measurements we demonstrate that there is electron exchange between the triheme cytochrome PpcA from Gs and AQDS. 2D-1H-15N HSQC NMR spectra were recorded for 15N-enriched PpcA samples, in the absence and presence of AQDS. Chemical shift perturbation measurements, at increasing concentration of AQDS, were used to probe the interaction region and to measure the binding affinity of the PpcA-AQDS complex. The perturbations on the NMR signals corresponding to the PpcA backbone NH and heme substituents showed that the region around heme IV interacts with AQDS through the formation of a complex with a definite life time in the NMR time scale. The comparison of the NMR data obtained for PpcA in the presence and absence of AQDS showed that the interaction is reversible. Overall, this study provides for the first time a clear illustration of the formation of an electron transfer complex between AQDS and a G. sulfurreducens triheme cytochrome, shedding light on the electron transfer pathways underlying the microbial oxidation of humics.
- Electron transfer
- Multiheme cytochromes