Reduction of soluble and insoluble iron forms by membrane fractions of Shewanella oneidensis grown under aerobic and anaerobic conditions

Shane S. Ruebush, Susan L. Brantley, Ming Tien

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The effect of iron substrates and growth conditions on in vitro dissimilatory iron reduction by membrane fractions of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 was characterized. Membrane fractions were separated by sucrose density gradients from cultures grown with O2, fumarate, and aqueous ferric citrate as the terminal electron acceptor. Marker enzyme assays and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis demonstrated the high degree of separation between the outer and cytosolic membrane. Protein expression pattern was similar between chelated iron- and fumarate-grown cultures, but dissimilar for oxygen-grown cultures. Formate-dependent ferric reductase activity was assayed with citrate-Fe3+, ferrozine-Fe3+, and insoluble goethite as electron acceptors. No activity was detected in aerobic cultures. For fumarate and chelated iron-grown cells, the specific activity for the reduction of soluble iron was highest in the cytosolic membrane. The reduction of ferrozine-Fe3+ was greater than the reduction of citrate-Fe 3+. With goethite, the specific activity was highest in the total membrane fraction (containing both cytosolic and outer membrane), indicating participation of the outer membrane components in electron flow. Heme protein content and specific activity for iron reduction was highest with chelated iron-grown cultures with no heme proteins in aerobically grown membrane fractions. Western blots showed that CymA, a heme protein involved in iron reduction, expression was also higher in iron-grown cultures compared to fumarate- or aerobic-grown cultures. To study these processes, it is important to use cultures grown with chelated Fe3+ as the electron acceptor and to assay ferric reductase activity using goethite as the substrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2925-2935
Number of pages11
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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